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PM Modi calls for woman-led development, says it is key to India’s progress and rise

Women-led development key for India: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again underlined that woman led development will be key for the country’s progress.

“I want to tell the mothers, sisters and daughters that today the country has progressed due to the power of you all,” Modi said while delivering his 10th consecutive Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort.

“When you go to a village, you will find ‘bank-wali didi, Anganwadi didi and dawai-wali.. It is my dream to make 2 crore lakhpati didis in villages,” he said.

Last year, as India celebrated the 76th Independence Day, Modi spoke of the importance of “Nari Shakti” in nation building.

While the PM has been focusing on the importance of woman empowerment, today’s emphasis comes in the wake of the Manipur violence.

While Modi pointed out that India not only has the maximum number of women pilots but women scientists have also been leading the Chandrayaan mission, the boost in financial empowerment of women at the grassroot level has helped.

The Economic Survey this year pointed out that the Rural Female Labour Force Participation Rate (FLFPR) rate has increased from 19.7 per cent in 2018-19 to 27.7 per cent in 2020-21. Analysts said that the figure has gone up further.

While the agriculture sector already employs a large number of women, Modi said the government is chalking out a new plan for the agri-tech sector which is aimed at strengthening the women’s self help groups. He said many of the self help groups will be provided with drones and women will be trained to use them.

“These agricultural drones can be utilized effectively. The initiative will begin with the flight of drones by 15,000 women’s self-help groups,” he said.

However, rural women have also actively started to participate in additional jobs to boost income levels, thanks to technology and easier credit.

That apart, a more proactive approach by self help groups and non governmental organisations (NGOs) besides multilateral agencies such as World Bank and rapid expansion in zero interest bank accounts under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) are also leading to a transformation of the women in rural India.

According to a report by the State Bank of India, overall per capita women deposits has increased by Rs 4,618 in the last five years.

It added that though the share of individuals in total deposits declined during the year, the share of women customers in total deposits continued to increase to 20.5 per cent in 2022-23. This has been possible owing to the multiple government-run schemes and programmes aimed at boosting women empowerment. The share of women deposits in overall rural deposits increased in post pandemic period to 30 per cent in 2022-23 from 25 per cent in 2018-19.

More than 55 per cent of total PMJDY beneficiaries are women.

Also read: World looks up to India for global economic growth, says President Murmu on eve of Independence Day