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17 Feb 2019·
News Flash
Pulwama Terror Attack: Security Cover of Five Separatist Leaders Withdrawn * Odisha CM Lays Foundation Stone for State-of-the-Art Cancer Hospital & Research Centre in Bhubaneswar * Bhubaneswar Smart City Wins Geospatial Excellence Award for Its GIS Map Portal ‘Bhubaneswar One’ * Thousands of Congress, BJP Workers from Kalahandi Join BJD * Naveen's Oneness with Bereaved Goes Beyond Ex-Gratia * Odisha CM Enhances Ex-gratia to Rs 25 Lakh for Families of Martyred Odia Jawans * Pulwama Terror Attack: Odisha CM Pays Tribute to Two Odia Martyrs * Odisha CM Dedicates Slew of Development Projects to People of Kalahandi, Attends Mission Shakti Conclave * Pulwama Terror Strike: All Political Party Backs Govt. Stands with Security Forces * Odisha Schools Hold Silent Prayers for Pulwama Attack Martyrs * CM to Visit Kalahandi District Today * Mortal Remains of Two Martyred Odia Jawans to Reach Bhubaneswar Today * Donald Trump Declares Emergency to Build US-Mexico Border Wall * Naveen Urges Educational Institutions to Observe Silent Prayers for Pulwama Martyrs * Odisha Govt Announces Rs 10 Lakh Ex-gratia to Kin of Martyred Odia Jawans in Pulwama Terror Attack * CM Launches Slew of Development Projects in Kendrapara, Distributes KALIA Assistance to Landless Farmers * ECI Reviews Poll Preparedness in Odisha, Ensures Free and Fair Elections * Pulwama Terror Strike: J&K Guv Admits Intelligence Failure * Pulwama Terror Strike: Priyanka Gandhi Urges Centre to Prevent Recurrence of Terror Attacks * Naveen Flags Off 10th Baristha Nagarika Tirtha Yatra Train from Berhampur * Pulwama Terror Strike: Odisha CM Holds Silent Prayer for Martyr Troopers * Pulwama Terror Strike: India Withdraws 'Most Favoured Nation' Status to Pak * Pulwama Terror Strike: Two Odia Troopers Among Martyrs * Odisha Best State for Promotion of Sports * Brexit and Theresa May


Mission Shakti: Sky is the Limit for Grassroots Women Entrepreneurs

Mission Shakti: Sky is the Limit for Grassroots Women Entrepreneurs

No households, no society, no state, no country has ever moved forward without empowering its women.  When Naveen Patnaik became the Chief Minister of Odisha in 2000, at that time the State was in shambles, completely devastated by natural disaster and years of misrules. A year later, he rolled out Mission Shakti with the objective of improving the economic and social status of women through  the development of entrepreneurship, supply of credit and acquisition of skill, the development program quite akin to Mahila Mandala Vikash Samabaya Nigam that his father and stalwart Biju Patnaik had launched in 1991 for women empowerment.

The silent revolution that Naveen started in 2001 has gradually transformed into a social movement with 70 lakh women, six lakh groups, Rs 5,000 crore savings and 2,000 crore annual bank exposure. Mission Shakti is now a way of life for millions of women, shaping their thought, outlook, culture and economic life. There is no habitation in State without a Mission Shakti Group. Almost every second household has a member in it.

It is really heartening to note that Mission Shakti has brought a paradigm shift in societal attitude towards women and recognized their entrepreneurial skills for improving various socio-economic indicators like IMR, MMR and female literacy. It has placed rural women in a better position to overcome the negative social pressures and gender biases operating against them and united them under group identity and activity.

With a border vision, the Odisha Government has promoted women’s self-help groups (WSHGs) by providing them much-needed credit and market linkages to create gainful economic activities for women. Initially the government had the set the target to organize two lakhs WSHGs covering all revenue villages of the State. The target was achieved in 2008. Women at large have displayed great strengthen in the success of the Mission due to their positive contribution to the group dynamics and their natural inclination for self-reliance. 

At present there are more than six lakh WSHGs engaged in various economic activities. The program has produced many successfully women entrepreneurs at the grassroots level. One of them is Jayanti Ekka. Entire Odisha knows this name now.  The tribal lady from Balisankara of Sundergarh, a grass root Entrepreneur with a childhood disability was the star of the Make in Odisha Conclave where the who’s who of the country were present. The confidence and determination with which she spoke inspired all of Odisha. She described her struggle and success story truly representing the empowerment of Mission Shakti groups. The WSHG ‘Kalayani’ that she started way back in 2001 is a major success. It is the sign of new Odisha, an Odisha where women empowerment is the utmost priority in all development works of the government.

After achieving the primary objective of women empowerment, Mission Shakti now aims at making its members digitally empowered. The digital empowerment will further accelerate the socio-political and economic empowerment of women and bring them close to the knowledge economy.

Digital technology has revolutionized the world as never before. Rapid transofmations have taken place in the global scenario. The contribution of information and communication technology has been significant in terms of income and earnings, growth and employment generation.

It is also true that the current internet usage by women in Odisha is significantly low compared to men, especially in rural areas. It deprives a considerable number of women from accessing online services including communication and information vital for their all-round development.

It is in this context, the Odisha Government’s decision to provide free smartphones to six lakh women self-help groups (WSHGs) is a remarkable step towards digital empowerment of women under Mission Shakti. 

Meanwhile, Naveen Patnaik has introduced a resolution in the state legislative assembly proposing 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and legislative assemblies.

With multiple empowerments, the State Government aims to set setting in motion the wheels of social sustainability.