Mission Shakti Continues to Empower the Women of Odisha
8th March 2001 marked the launch of ‘Mission Shakti’, an initiative by the Chief Minister of Odisha to empower women across the state. A couple of decades down the line, it is safe to say that it has slowly and steadily transformed the lives of women, their families and the spaces they reside in.
The tale of ‘Mission Shakti’ commenced with small savings, many of them even contributing handfuls of rice to the group kitty. Today, it is a testimonial of success as over 70 lakh women assembled into 6 lakh Self Help Groups to help one another and gain prosperity. Over the past two decades, they have constantly scaled up their business portfolios and have achieved turnover in lakhs with their cumulative savings being close to Rs. 5000 crores.
Acknowledging this growth, and with an aim to continue the progress, the Government of Odisha recently declared an Interest Subsidy Scheme for Women SHGs named – ‘Mission Shakti Loan’. This enables all women SHGs in Odisha to take up to 3 lakh in loan at an effective rate of one per cent. To preserve the SHGs and push women empowerment, the Government of Odisha also announced the construction of Mission Shakti Gruhas in each of the 6800 Gram Panchayats of State under the hugely popular “Ama Gaon Ama Bikash” programme.
To keep the momentum of ‘Mission Shakti’ going, the Government of Odisha has today announced the following benefits:
- Provision of seed money support of Rs.15,000/- to each of the 3 lakh SHGs formed since 1st April 2017
- An amount of Rs.3000/- to be given to every SHG as financial assistance for digital empowerment. This shall be used by the SHGs to purchase any smartphone of their choice from the open market
- Each of the 338 Block Level Federations is being provided with a revolving fund amounting to Rs. 25 lakh
- An incentive of Rs. 500/- and Rs. 200/- to be provided to Anganwadi Workers and Anganwadi Helpers respectively on formation of each new SHG.
Under Mission Shakti, women have come together to work in various fields such as making of LED bulbs, running buses under the Biju Gaon Gadi, supplying Take Home Ration under the ICDS programme, electricity meter reading and civil construction.
Mission Shakti is a fine example of how a government has empowered women to fulfil their potential in all forms of life.