Looking at the positive impact of the governments women-oriented scheme Aajeevika,Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday said there was a need to implement the scheme quickly all across the country,especially in the central and eastern parts.
In what seemed like an election pitch targeted especially at women voters,Sonia said that no country has launched such ambitious and major schemes for women empowerment as implemented by the Congress-led UPA government. Sonia was speaking at the second anniversary of Aajeevika National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) implemented by the Rural Development Ministry and was referring to the scheme in her statement. The NRLM,launched in 2011,aims at enabling the rural poor increase their household income by facilitating capacity building. It operates through Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and focuses on organising women into such groups,while enhancing their access to finance. The UPA chairperson,who was the chief guest at the event,said empowerment of women and weaker sections has been the main pillar of the UPA government. Women have the greatest capacity to bring about a change in society…They form the nucleus of families and it is on their shoulders that the responsibility of nurturing future generations lies… The social revolution we desire is possible only through women, Sonia said. She said the government was providing emancipation based on sustainable and self-dependent employment and not on anybodys mercy,adding there was a need to speed up the implementation of Aajeevika across the country.
Sonia also announced that special packages were being prepared for the Northeast,Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh to give a boost to such empowerment measures. Sonia further said she was particularly pleased that the government had initiated measures for social and financial empowerment of women in Jammu and Kashmir through SHGs.