ASSAM NEWS

Sonowal underscores women empowerment for development

A Correspondent
Biswanath Chariali, June 27: In a move to usher in an ambience favourable to women empowerment, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday inaugurated a proceeding of giving financial aid to women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) by handing over cheques worth Rs. 25,000 each to 15 SHGs at a Mahila Samaroh held at Kamalakanta Kshetra in Biswanath.

The Mahila Samaroh was organized as a part of Kanaklata Mahila Sabalikaran Achoni wherein by handing over cheques to 15 SHGs, Sonowal started the process of granting financial aids to more than 11,057 SHGs in Tezpur Lok Sabha Constituency consisting of eight legislative assembly constituencies.

Addressing the huge gathering congregated on the occasion, Chief Minister Sonowal said that under the State government’s visionary programme Kanaklata Mahila Sabalikaran Achoni, the government was committed to render financial help to all the 1.30 lakh SGHs in the State. He at the same time appealed to the members of the SHGs to make judicious use of the financial grants to bolster their empowerment. Sonowal also said that the State government had given unprecedented importance to women empowerment because it sincerely believed that empowerment of woman led to empowerment of a family, which led to empowerment of society, leading to empowerment of a State and nation. He, therefore, urged upon the women folk to use the grant productively. He also announced that many more welfare schemes, especially for women, were in the pipeline as part of the State government’s holistic design of using women power to catapult the State’s development. He said that the SHGs that could exhibit exemplary results in their endeavour would be awarded Rs. 5 lakh, Rs. 3 lakh and Rs 2 lakh respectively. He added that the women entrepreneurs who showed impressive results in start-up ventures would be sent to foreign countries by the State government in exposure tours.

Chief Minister Sonowal also asked the women folk of the State to maintain a close watch on the performance of the State government and help it for the successful implementation of the welfare schemes. Terming them as role model, Sonowal also appealed to them to take the role of a precursor to wipe out superstitions from the society.

Speaking about the pet programme of NDA government at the Centre which aims at double the farmers’ income by 2022, Sonowal requested the women folk of the State to help the State Government to achieve the target. He also said that under Kanaklata Mahila Sabalikaran Achoni, the financial help of the State Government would be increased manifold in the come days.

State Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, while speaking on the occasion, said that the State government would empower the SHGs and the financial aid would be increased to the tune of Rs. 5 lakh. Announcing a slew of schemes of the State government, Dr.Sarma said that from October 2, 2018 the State government would start a universal old-age pension scheme under which all the people above 60 years of age would be brought under preview of old-age pension scheme, irrespective of their belonging to APL and BPL groups. He also said that the Civil Hospital at Biswanath would be converted into a 200-bedded hospital and the State Government would also set up a dental college at Behali.