The Maharashtra government is considering a proposal to set up a rural empowerment project for women with an initial corpus of Rs 280 crore.
“We are studying a proposal of Mahila Aarthik Vikas Mahamandal for initiating the rural empowerment project to be spread over eight years,” state principal secretary, department of woman and child development, Satyabir Dodd said at the ‘The Women’s Conference’ organised by CII, to celebrate the international women’s day, here today. The corpus would be contributed by the various participants, including the International Fund for Agriculture (Rs 150 crore), the state government (Rs 50 crore) and Nabard and other banks (Rs 30 crore), he said.
CII president Anand Mahindra said, “We will have to start looking more closely at the needs of women, especially rural women, because it is their emergence that will have the widest impact on India as a whole”. Sixty seven per cent of India’s population lives in villages, and of these just a shade less than 50 per cent are women. “It stands to reason therefore that these women can be significant agents of transformation, by the force of numbers alone,” he said. There was also another type of multiplier effect. When rural women succeed, it has an exemplary effect on a large number of other women, he added. ICICI Bank joint MD and chairperson of CII national committee on women’s empowerment Lalite Gupte said women need to have faith in themselves, sensitising the industry on the needs of this gender was important, she added.