Scheme to empower women in rural Punjab

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Chandigarh, Nov 13 (UNI) The Punjab Government has decided to launch an ambitious scheme to empower women in rural Punjab and improve the fiscal condition of farmers' families in the state.

The scheme, knwon as "Mai Bhago Istri Shakti Scheme", will be launched at Jalandhar on November 18, Co-operation Minister Capt.

Kanwaljit Singh said at a press conference here today.

He also announced launching of housing scheme for weaker sections of society on November 14 at Banur.

The Co-operative Department is celebrating the 54th Co-operative Week from November 14 to 20 to spread awareness among the people.

He said different departments of co-operation namely Markfed, Milkfed, Housefed, Sugarfed, PSCB, PSCADB and others would be organizing functions in districts during the week.

The Minister said Mai Bhago Istri Shakti Scheme was being launched with an aim to empower women in Punjab.

Under the scheme individual or group of women would be provided loans at 8-10 per cent interest per annum by agricultural societies to engage them in various kinds of economic activities in order to improve their families financial position and also to give them self respect and confidence.

He said that marketing of products produced by women societies would be done by PACS, WEAVCO, MILKFED and MARKFED and other professional organizations.

Capt Singh said that Puncofed would provide required training to the new women members at village, sub-divisional and district level for which funds upto the tune of Rs 5 lakh per district would be provided.

He said besides giving of loans officials had been asked to explore the possibility of roping in assistance for women in central schemes by way of subsidy given by the Department of Women and Child Development, Society Security and the Department of Mahila Kosh of Government of India.

He said that officials would tie up with Khadi village Industries Commission of the Government of India and Khadi Village Board for the maximum help to women members.

He said that special emphasis would be laid on promoting women leadership from grass root level to state level to enable them play more meaningful role in the socio-political activities of the state.

He said that apart from it arrangement would be made to create social awareness activities in villages on rights of women, female foeticide, drug addiction and other issues.

Capt Singh said the Housefed would launch its housing scheme for weaker sections of the society. Under the scheme houses of 405 sq feet would be provided at a nominal costs to those whose monthly income is less than Rs 3,000 per month whereas 500 and 625 sq feet houses would be built for class III and class IV government employees.

He said that this scheme being launched at Banur in 15 acres would ultimately cover all the district headquarters in the state.

The Minister said that besides the above schemes Sugarfed, Milkfed, Markfed, Weavco and other institutions of Co-operation would organize a day of programme each at different stations to spread awareness about different welfare schemes during this co-operative week.

UNI

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