In a historic step, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day speech, unveiled two significant initiatives- ‘Lakhpati Didi’ and PM Vishwakarma Yojna, in an attempt to reach out to the economically marginalized and socially backward community before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. These schemes aim to empower women self-help groups and artisans across the country.
‘Lakhpati Didi’ scheme
The India government has announced the ‘Lakhpati Didi’ scheme, aiming to provide skill training to two crore women across the nation. The scheme, previously implemented only in a few states, now seeks to expand on a national level.
Under the scheme, women will undergo training in a range of practical skills that align with emerging industry demands. These skills include plumbing, LED bulb manufacturing, and the operation and repair of drones, among others. This diversified training approach ensures that women can tap into various sectors and explore entrepreneurial opportunities.
Addressing the nation from on India’s 77th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the Government is working with women SHGs with the aim of creating 2 crore ‘Lakhpati Didis’ in villages. The PM observed that 10 crore women are today associated with Women’s Self-Help Groups. “In villages today, one can find a Didi in the bank, in the Anganwaadi and a Didi to provide medicines.”
The Prime Minister also spoke about agri-tech and made a pitch for leveraging the potential of science and technology in rural development. The PM said that 15,000 Women’s SHGs would be given loan and training for operating and repairing drones. “Drone ki Udaan” will be carried out by these women’s SHGs, said the PM.
PM Vishwakarma Yojna
The Vishwakarma Yojana is a pioneering scheme designed to uplift individuals skilled in traditional craftsmanship, particularly from the Other Backward Classes (OBC) community.
This scheme, named after the divine architect and craftsman Vishwakarma, seeks to preserve and enhance the guru-shishya parampara (teacher-pupil tradition) of passing down skills within families engaged in various artisanal trades.
“In the days to come, we will launch a scheme on the occasion of Vishwakarma Jayanti, benefiting individuals skilled in traditional craftsmanship, particularly from the OBC community. Weavers, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, potters, laundry workers, barbers, cobblers and such families will be empowered through the ‘Vishwakarma Yojana’, which will begin with an allocation of around 13-15 thousand crore rupees”, PM Modi said while speaking from the bulwarks of Red Fort.
The Vishwakarma Yojana has been allocated a budget ranging from ₹13,000 crore to ₹15,000 crore for five financial years from 2023-2024 to 2027-2028. The scheme offers a stipend of ₹500 for skill training and ₹1,500 for the purchase of modern tools.
The application process for the PM Vishwakarma Yojana is expected to be conducted online. The government will provide a dedicated website for artisans to register and apply for the scheme.