Interim Budget 2024: Lakhpati Didi Scheme To Target 3 Crore Women, Announces Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Interim Budget 2024: Lakhpati Didi Scheme To Target 3 Crore Women, Announces Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

She reiterated the government's commitment to an all-encompassing, pervasive, and inclusive approach to development, aiming to transform India into a 'Viksit Bharat' by 2047

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Thursday, February 01, 2024, 10:40 PM IST
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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman | File

Mumbai: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, during the presentation of the Interim Budget 2024-25, announced a notable expansion of the Lakhpati Didi scheme's target from two crore to three crore.

Sitharaman began by highlighting the transformative impact of 83 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs) that comprise nine crore women. These groups are playing a pivotal role in reshaping the rural socio-economic landscape, fostering empowerment and self-reliance.

"Their success has propelled nearly one crore women into the esteemed status of Lakhpati Didi, serving as a beacon of inspiration for others. Their accomplishments will be duly recognized and honored," stated the Finance Minister.

Empowerment, well-being are integral to propelling country forward: FM

Motivated by this success, Sitharaman elaborated on the decision to amplify the target for Lakhpati Didi, aligning with the Prime Minister's directive to focus on the four major categories: 'Garib' (Poor), 'Mahilayen' (Women), 'Yuva' (Youth), and 'Annadata' (Farmer). She emphasized that the progress of these segments is paramount for the nation's advancement. "All four categories receive government support in their pursuit of better lives. Their empowerment and well-being are integral to propelling the country forward," Sitharaman affirmed.

She reiterated the government's commitment to an all-encompassing, pervasive, and inclusive approach to development, aiming to transform India into a 'Viksit Bharat' by 2047. Sitharaman emphasized the necessity of improving people's capabilities and empowering them to achieve this goal.

Need for better training and leadership

Relevant to the discussion, members of Self Help Groups shared their perspectives. Asha Khopade from Muktai Mahila Bachat Gat highlighted the need for better training and leadership, while Sangita Kamble of Akshata Bachat Gat expressed ignorance about the specific scheme despite her group's previous experience with loans.

Notably, Sandhya Fernandez, the founder of Volunteer Collective - SOSSaviours, raised pertinent questions about the scheme's implementation in smaller communities. Fernandez stressed the importance of providing clear information about the targeted skill sets, the type of training offered, and the viability of local markets to support entrepreneurial ventures.

Lack of knowledge among women and absence of guidance

Drawing from her experiences in small villages, Fernandez noted the lack of knowledge among women and the absence of guidance for them. She proposed a proactive approach from the government to actively reach out to these women, emphasizing the importance of nurturing and empowering them effectively. Fernandez envisioned a collaborative effort where self-driven women become ambassadors for the initiative, creating a positive impact and encouraging more women to participate and benefit from the services offered.

The Lakhpati Didi scheme involves women undergoing training in practical skills aligned with emerging industry demands, including plumbing, LED bulb manufacturing, and the operation and repair of drones. This diversified training approach aims to enable women to explore various sectors and entrepreneurial opportunities.

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