The PM addressed a state-level Mahila Saksham Melava or Empowered Women’s Meet of Self Help Groups, organized by Maharashtra State Rural Livelihood Mission (UMED), in Aurangabad today.
Addressing the gathering, the PM commended the empowered women present for their contribution towards empowering themselves and their communities through Self Help Groups.
The PM observed that Aurangabad Industrial City (AURIC) will become an important part of the Aurangabad town and an important industrial centre of the country in the near future. Aurangabad is an important segment of Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor as well, the PM added. The firms investing in AURIC will create a lot of jobs as well, said the PM.
Marking the ahead-of-date achievement of 8 crore LPG connections under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, the PM distributed LPG connections to five beneficiaries. Noting that this has been achieved seven months ahead of the target date, the PM observed that in Maharashtra alone, 44 lakh Ujjwala connections have been given. Saluting the colleagues who made this possible, the PM said that we were able to achieve it due to our concern for the health of women suffering from the smoke emanated by chullahs.
The PM added that not only were connections given, but a holistic infrastructure comprising 10,000 new LPG distributors, mostly in rural India, have been appointed. “New bottling plants have been built. Terminal capacity near ports has been increased and pipeline network has been widened. 5-kg cylinders are being promoted. Piped gas is also being delivered. We want to ensure that not a single household remains without LPG connection.”
The PM said that Jal Jeevan Mission has been launched in order to free women from the trouble of having to toil hard to fetch water. “Jal Jeevan Mission involves saving water and delivering water at one’s doorstep. The Government will spend 3.5 lakh crore rupees for this, in the next five years”.
Recalling Shri Ram Manohar Lohia’s statement that toilet and water are the two biggest problems faced by Indian women, the PM said that if these two issues are resolved, women can then lead the country. “Marathwada region is going to benefit in a big way from Jal Jeevan Mission. The first water grid in the country will be made in Marathwada; this will increase water availability in the region”.
Pointing out the importance of public participation in government schemes, the PM said that the government is providing pension to every farmer after attainment of 60 years of age. Similar efforts are being made for vaccination of animals as well, said the PM.
Aajeevika – National Rural Livelihoods Mission creates earning opportunities for women, observed the PM. He added that the Union Budget 2019 has made special provisions to provide interest subsidy to SHGs; Jan Dhan account holders belonging to SHGs will also get an overdraft facility of 5000 rupees, thereby obviating the need for them to approach private moneylenders, the PM added.
Speaking about other initiatives for the empowerment of women’s Self Help Groups, the PM said: “Under MUDRA scheme, one woman in every SHG will get a loan of 1 lakh rupees; this will help them start new ventures and grow their business. Loans worth 20 crore rupees have been distributed till now, out of which 14 crore rupees were given to women. Maharashtra has 1.5 crore MUDRA beneficiaries, 1.25 crore out of which are women”.