In pics: Bharatiya Mahila Bank, India's first all-women bank

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Mumbai, Nov 20: In one of the many pioneering initiatives in the field of women empowerment, India on Wednesday got is first all-women bank in the form of Bharatiya Mahila Bank.

Although, the bank aims to cater to the needs of women, but unlike its name, it will accept deposits from both women and men but lending will be only for women. The bank will mostly recruit women employees.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh inaugurated 'Bharatiya Mahila Bank', the first of its seven branches at a function, on the occasion of the 96th birth anniversary of the former prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi in the presence of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Here are few pictures of the inauguration of Bharatiya Mahila Bank in Mumbai:

In pics: Bharatiya Mahila Bank, India's first all-women bank

The bank begins operations with seven branches. It will be a universal bank, but will primarily serve women, taking care of their special needs and requirements.

In pics: Bharatiya Mahila Bank, India's first all-women bank

"A lot more needs to be done to empower women and ensure their safety. We have strengthened the law to provide for harsher punishment for sexual offences against women, but much more needs to be done. It is an acknowledged fact that access to finance and banking not only helps to empower women, but also broadens the social base of development," PM said.

In pics: Bharatiya Mahila Bank, India's first all-women bank

The number of branches will go up to 25 by March-end.

In pics: Bharatiya Mahila Bank, India's first all-women bank

Sonia Gandhi recalled the contribution of Indira Gandhi towards poverty alleviation and women empowerment.

In pics: Bharatiya Mahila Bank, India's first all-women bank

According to Chidambaram, the board of the Mahila Bank was constituted with the induction of eight women members. This will be the first all-women board of a PSU bank.

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