GUWAHATI, June 9: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said that the State government gives utmost importance to empowerment of women to make them economically self-reliant.
Sonowal said this while taking part at the Mahila Samaroh, which was organized by the State Rural Livelihood Mission at Mirza in Kamrup district on Saturday.
Sonowal also emphasized on the need for greater proliferation of education amongst women to make them vital partners of the development process. Coinciding with the programme, Sonowal also ceremoniously distributed cheques amounting to Rs. 25,000 each to women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) under Kanaklata Mahila Sabalikaran Achoni.
Addressing a mammoth gathering of Self-Help Groups representing nine Legislative Assembly constituencies under Guwahati Lok Sabha constituency, Sonowal said that the State government has taken up several projects aiming at empowering the women. He said that when women become empowered that eventually leads to empowerment of the entire society.
Stating that education plays a significant role in boosting the skills and abilities of women, Sonowal said that the State government gives priority to educating the women. He urged the women to join hands with the government in its initiatives in the education sector and play the role of conscious citizens in making moral, spiritual and technical education popular amongst the youth. Further saying that the State government is working without any discrimination to spread education in the society, he said that nine women colleges would be set up in minority-dominated areas of the State.
Sonowal also highlighted the examples of popular names of Chhaygaon area, Alaka Das who has been engaged in household delivery of LPG cylinder mounting them on her bicycle for last ten years and ‘Village Rockstars’ famed Rima Das who have exemplified women power in the State. Citing their examples, he said that there is no dearth of talent and abilities amongst the women of the State. Stating the women power as the supreme power, Sonowal also called upon them to work for spreading awareness against evil forces and superstition and also promote peace, harmony, unity and brotherhood in society.
Sonowal also urged the women to be vigilant so that no evil force could destabilize the society and affirmed the government’s resolve to not allowing any such forces to negatively impact the society. He also appreciated the support extended by the women of the State towards his government. He said that their unstinted support encouraged the government to continue its fight against corruption. As a result of government’s anti-corruption drives, 45,000 youth could be provided government jobs in a very transparent manner on the basis of merit only, he added.
Underscoring the initiatives taken up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during last four years of the Union government, Sonowal said that there is a qualitative change in society due to the exemplary initiatives of the Central Government. He mentioned about the Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana and Swacch Bharat Mission, which have brought distinctive change in society.
Sonowal also urged the women SHGs to prudently utilize the financial assistance provided to them and announced that the best performing three SHGs would be awarded Rs 5 lakh, Rs 3 lakh and Rs 2 lakh respectively.
Minister of Finance, Health and PWD Himanta Biswa Sarma said that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee first launched the SHG scheme in the country and the State government is working to give a new dimension to the same through Kanaklata Mahila Sabalikaran Achoni. He said that under this new scheme, the State government would provide financial assistance up to Rs. 5 lakh to the SHGs, which show remarkable performance in their chosen field of activity. Urging the women SHGs to work with sincerity and dedication, Sarma also asked them to take the message of the public welfare schemes of the government to the targeted beneficiaries.
The Finance Minister also announced that the State Government would launch the universalized old age pension scheme on the forthcoming October 2 is a bid to provide social security to all the senior citizens of the State irrespective of their economic condition. He also said that the State Government would begin construction of 19 cancer care centres in designated hospitals with an expenditure of around Rs. 2000 crore in the state on June 18.
Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Naba Kumar Doley said that the State government would provide financial assistance of Rs. 25,000 each to 1.26 lakh SHGs under Kanaklata Mahila Sabalikaran Yojna, which would be increased up to Rs. 5 lakh in phases.
State Education Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharjya, MP Bijoya Chakraborty, MLA and HOUSEFED Chairman Ranjeet Dass also delivered speech on the occasion.