BHOPAL: The progress of society and the country lies in the progress and uplift of women. This was said by minister of state (Independent Charge) for cooperatives Vishwas Sarang at a seminar organised on ‘Women Skill Development and Economic Upliftment’ by Astha Mahila Sahakari Nagrik Bank Maryadit. He said women had been worshipped and considered powerful in Indian tradition, darshan and culture. In Hindu religious epics, Saraswati, Durga and Lakshmi were considered goddesses of Vidya (education), Shakti (power) and Dhan (wealth). Innovations had been made in training and establishing women as entrepreneurs and making them self-reliant through cooperatives. Praising president of Astha Bank Arti Bisariya, Sarang said she started the Astha Mahila Bank in a very small way and had taken it a long way ahead.