Odisha government on Wednesday announced a plan to distribute 600,000 smartphones to Mission Shakti (self-help) groups in the state. There are about 600,000 self-help groups comprising seven million female members.
“Our women have come a long way and the next ceiling to be broken is the digital one. My government is aware that digital empowerment will further accelerate the socio-political and economic empowerment of women. My dream is to see that every woman has access to the knowledge economy”, said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at a plenary session on Women Entrepreneurship organised on a third of Make in Odisha conclave.
As a first step, my government will digitally empower all 600,000 Mission Shakti groups with smartphones, he added.
According to sources, a detailed plan will be chalked out for procurement of the smartphones.
The state government today impressed upon the bankers to provide credit to the Mission Shakti groups in a professional manner.
“The easiest way to please me and my government is to meet the credit requirement of Mission Shakti groups in a dignified and professional manner,” said Patnaik at the event.
Mission Shakti, started as a project in 2001, has Rs 50 billion savings and Rs 20 billion annual bank exposure. The bank loans were provided to the groups at a measly rate of one per cent.