Nitish praises Bihar’s poor women for timely repaying loans

Patna (Bihar): Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday praised woman self-help groups (SHGs) of the state for timely repaying their bank loans.

While addressing the Samaj Sudhar Vahinee Sammelan Program, Bihar chief minister said unlike big shots, who flee the country after defaulting on dues, these women are honestly repaying their loan.

“Many high-profile people take millions and billions of loan money and flee from the country. But these women who are running Self-Help Groups (SHGs) make timely repayment of loans they take from banks. This isn’t a small thing. The income of their family has increased,” Nitish said.

Over 8 lakh self-help groups have been formed in Bihar for helping poor women. Nitish said his government was relentlessly working to constitute at least 10 lakh SHGs to empower maximum number of poor rural women with the government-funded livelihood programme.

“Since the time I got first opportunity to work in Government in November 2005, we have been working for the upliftment of women. One of the first decisions that I as Bihar chief minister took was to provide reservations for women in Panchayat elections and thereafter in civic bodies. Bihar was the first state which gave 50% reservation to women in these polls. We believe that women who constitute half population must also get similar right to become public representatives.”

The chief minister also credited women for the success of alcohol ban in the state.

Kumar said, “In July 2015, I was participating in a conference on women empowerment. Three women came to me and demanded that there should be a complete ban on alcohol. I assured that next time when I come, there would be a complete ban on alcohol and we got it done.”

“Children were asked to get a written statement from their parents that they would not drink alcohol. One crore 19 Lakh people gave a signed statement that they won’t drink alcohol and won’t let others have it as well. Many women told us that their family life improved a lot after their husband’s got rid of alcohol addiction,” he added.