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On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Union Minister for Electronics & IT and Law Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Smriti Irani, Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Textiles inaugurated a workshop on “Stree Swabhiman, a CSC (Common Service Centre) Initiative for Promoting Women’s Health and Hygiene.” The workshop showcased the impact and progress made by the Women Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) in promoting women’s health and hygiene among the poor and marginalised communities in India, through the Common Services Centres.
Addressing around 700 VLEs from across the country, Prasad appreciated the efforts of women VLEs, who have set up sanitary napkin units under Stree Swabhiman project, in advancing women’s health and hygiene in rural areas, apart from enhancing women’s empowerment. Recounting the strength of women VLEs in mobilising citizens under Government campaigns like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Digi Dhan Abhiyan, the Minister said: “Today, we have 47,000 women VLEs across India. I want to see their numbers grow up to more than one lakh in our country.
Prasad said, “Ensuring women’s presence at the fore front of Digital India would result in a new social order where women would play the role of change agents in building a society free of any discrimination. Digitally empowered women can bring a paradigm shift in encouraging and empowering rural communities.”
Minister of Information & Broadcasting congratulated the women VLEs on the International Women’s Day and said, “I believe every day is a woman’s day. Women empowerment, especially for those living in rural India, is an integral component of our Government. The government has framed the guidelines for menstrual hygiene in the country.”
Mentioning VLE Snehlata Devi’s initiative “Chuppi Todo, Sayani Bano” among the Banjara community. Irani said, “Women VLEs are the first respondents of governance.” She added, “In the last three years, more than 16 crore women opened bank accounts through Jan Dhan Yojana. Similarly, due to MUDRA Yojana, 7.8 crore women became entrepreneur in the country.”
On the occasion, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & IT, Ajay Prakash Sawhney said that, “women VLEs are playing a significant role in Digital Empowerment in India”. Highlighting the role of women VLEs, Dinesh Tyagi, CEO, CSC SPV said, that VLEs are providing government services at the doorsteps of the citizens. Through CSC platform, our VLEs have created rural enterprises in the country and contributed to women empowerment in rural India.”