Women were playing a leading role in India’s quest to become Aatmanirbhar, PM Narendra Modi said

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted women on the occasion of the International Women's Day on Monday and said India takes pride in their many accomplishments.

He said it was his government's honor to work towards furthering women empowerment in the country across a wide range of sectors.

"Saluting our indomitable #NariShakti on International Women's Day! India takes pride in the many accomplishments of the women of our nation. It is our Government's honour to be getting the opportunity to work towards furthering women empowerment across a wide range of sectors," PM Modi tweeted.

“Women are playing a leading role in India’s quest to become Aatmanirbhar. On International Women’s Day, let us commit to encouraging entrepreneurship among women. Today, I bought a few products that celebrate women enterprise, creativity and India’s culture. #NariShakti,” he said in another tweet.

The prime minister has often highlighted his government's schemes like free cooking gas cylinders, opening of bank accounts, building toilets, saying that women empowerment has been a central theme of these programmes.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, several ministries came forward and released statements on how the center is working to empower women in India. They also appreciated women’s efforts in making India a better country in every field.

All women crew of MT Swarna makes history

In an attempt to acknowledge the efforts of women in breaking down the stereotypes in the erstwhile male-dominated maritime sector, Union Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya flagged off an all-women crew onboard Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) vessel MT Swarna Krishna.

The vessel was virtually flagged off by the Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister on 6 March, it said.

“Landmark day in Global Maritime history! SCI in its Gem stone Jubilee year makes Flag of India proud. SCI Tanker MT Swarna Krishna @JNPort set to sail on the eve of #IWD2021 fully managed & commanded by all Women Officers. Flagging Off by Hon'ble Minister Shri @MansukhMandviya @ShipMin_India,” SCI said in a tweet.

Similarly, an all-women crew undertook the inaugural flight of a plane from New Delhi to Bareilly Airport in Uttar Pradesh. Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri flagged off the first flight from New Delhi.

How Women Technology Parks are empowering women

According to the Ministry of Science, around 10,000 rural women have benefitted from the Women Technology Parks scheme in the last five years.

So far, 28 WTPs have been completed successfully and some of them are sustaining themselves and 12 Parks are still ongoing in various parts of the country. With more such Parks being planned in future, the WTPs can play a yeomen role in creating AtmaNirbhar Bharat at community level.

Women Technology Parks are established in rural and peri-urban areas as technology modulation, adaptation and training Centers for women groups mainly from the farming community.

They promote development and adaptation of appropriate technologies, transfer proven technologies and demonstration of live technology models to improve the weakest link of the predominant livelihood system of women in an area and promote social entrepreneurship and women employment based on the strongest link of the livelihood system.

Finance Ministry backs women

The Ministry of Finance, in the past seven years, has launched various schemes which have special provisions for empowerment of women. These Schemes have financially empowered women to lead a better life and chase their dreams of being an entrepreneur.

Under the Stand Up India scheme, more than 81% i.e., 91,109 accounts with an amount of Rs 20,749 crore have been sanctioned to women entrepreneurs.

The objective of this scheme is to facilitate bank loans between Rs.10 lakh and Rs.1 crore to at least one Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled Tribe (ST) borrower and at least one woman borrower per bank branch of SCBs for setting up a Greenfield enterprise.

The Finance Ministry noted under Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY), as on 26.02.2021, about 68% i.e., 19.04 crore accounts with an amount of Rs 6.36 lakh crore have been sanctioned to women entrepreneurs under MUDRA scheme since inception.

PMMY was launched on April 8, 2015 for providing loans up to 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises. These loans are classified as MUDRA loans under PMMY. These loans are given by Commercial Banks, RRBs, Small Finance Banks, MFIs and NBFCs.

Under Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), as on 24.02.2021, 23.21 crore accounts, out of the total 41.93 crore accounts opened under the scheme belong to women account holders.

PMJDY was launched on 28th August 2014. It envisages universal access to banking facilities with at least one basic banking account for every household, financial literacy, access to credit, insurance and pension.

Tourism Sector and Women

The Ministry of Tourism’s Dekho Apna Desh Webinar series held its 79th webinar titled “Weaving Growth of Rural India with SEWA and Airbnb India” on 6th March.

The webinar discussed the empowerment of women through improving the livelihoods of self-employed women workers from the informal economy through various initiatives using technology, technical training, micro finance etc.

Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) was born in 1972 to empower women in the textile field. SEWA is the only national union of women workers from the unorganized sector in India with more than 1.5 million membership across 18 states in India.

Airbnb has a partnership with the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA), an organization representing more than 1.5 million self-employed women living mostly in India’s rural areas.

Till now, more than 4500 guests have visited 40 SEWA Homestays from over 15 different countries. This partnership gives tourists a unique and authentic experience of culture and heritage and at the same time the women entrepreneurs from even the marginal economic sections are provided with an income source.