Naveen Patnaik announces free smartphones for women SHGs

Bhubaneswar: Aiming to digitally empower the women in the state, Odisha government will provide smartphones to around 70 lakh women under Mission Shakti programme, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Wednesday.

Addressing Women Entrepreneurship Sectorial session during Make in Odisha Conclave, Patnaik said that the state government will provide free smartphones to around 70 lakh women working with the six lakh Self Help Group(SHGs) across the state.

“Women empowerment is something that is very close to my heart, no household, no society, no state, and no country has ever moved forward without empowering its women,” Patnaik said.
“Our women have come a long way and the next ceiling to be broken is the digital one, my govt is aware that digital empowerment will further accelerate the socio-political and economic empowerment of women” the Chief Minister added.

Mission Shakti was launched in 2001 as a project aiming economic empowerment of women through self-help groups and providing them bank loans at low interest for livelihood opportunities, today 70 lakh women are working with 6 lakh SHGs, with 5,000 crore savings and 2,000 crores annual bank exposure.