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Women Once Considered ‘Un-Bankable’ are the ‘Lakhpatis of Tomorrow’: Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Rural Development Minister

Union Rural Development Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan focuses on enhancing Self-Help Groups and rural connectivity to drive sustainable development in India.

Shivam Dwivedi
Women Once Considered ‘Un-Bankable’ are the ‘Lakhpatis of Tomorrow’: Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Rural Development Minister
Women Once Considered ‘Un-Bankable’ are the ‘Lakhpatis of Tomorrow’: Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Rural Development Minister

Union Rural Development Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan has actively engaged with senior officials, focusing on advancing key rural development schemes. After taking charge on Tuesday, Minister Chouhan has been reviewing various programs and providing strategic directions, particularly emphasizing the enhancement of Self-Help Groups (SHGs).

A significant highlight of Minister Chouhan’s agenda is the ambitious ‘Lakhpati Didi’ initiative, which aims to transform three crore women into successful entrepreneurs within three years. Minister Chouhan expressed his dedication to this goal, describing it as a personal dream and urging all involved to strive towards achieving it ahead of schedule. He announced plans to convene a meeting with state rural development ministers to expedite this initiative and to engage with state chief ministers to resolve any arising issues.

Minister Chouhan lauded the achievements under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), noting the transformative potential of SHGs in rural credit systems. He highlighted that women previously deemed 'un-bankable' are now becoming 'Lakhpatis of Tomorrow,' showcasing a successful model of women-led development. In the fiscal year 2023-24 alone, banks disbursed Rs 2,06,636 crore in credit to over 56 lakh women SHGs, marking a significant increase in both the number of SHGs receiving credit and the amount disbursed over the past decade.

In addition to focusing on SHGs, Minister Chouhan reviewed the progress of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). He underscored the critical role of this scheme in transforming rural India by enhancing road connectivity. Minister Chouhan emphasized the need to ensure that 100% of rural habitations are connected with all-weather roads, noting the scheme's importance in achieving the vision of a developed India (Viksit Bharat). He commended the recent quality assurance measures for rural roads and called for further enhancements at all levels.

To improve rural road maintenance, Minister Chouhan stressed the importance of increased coordination with state governments. He also advocated for greater involvement of public representatives in the program to ensure its success and sustainability. The review meeting was attended by Minister of State for Rural Development Shri Kamlesh Paswan, Secretary Shri Shailesh Kumar Singh, and other senior officials.

Minister Chouhan’s proactive approach and strategic directions aim to foster significant advancements in rural development, ensuring sustainable economic growth and improved quality of life for rural communities across India.

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