Lakhpati Didi Budget Scheme: In today's interim budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the expansion of the Lakhpati Didi Initiative, setting an ambitious target of empowering 3 crore women from the current 2 crore. The initiative, under the poverty alleviation program DAY-NRLM, has already seen remarkable success, with nearly one crore women achieving the status of 'Lakhpati Didi.' "Eighty-three lakh SHGs with nine crore women are transforming the rural socio-economic landscape with empowerment and self-reliance. Their success has assisted nearly one crore women to become Lakhpati Didi already. They are an inspiration to others. Their achievements will be recognized by honouring them. Buoyed by the success, it has been decided to enhance the target for Lakhpati Didi from 2 crore to 3 crore," Sitharaman said in the interim budget speech.
The Lakhpati Didi Initiative focuses on the economic empowerment of women through skill development and multiple livelihood activities. Each Self-Help Group (SHG) household is encouraged to undertake multiple income-generating activities, aiming to help them make an annual income of Rs 1 lakh or more.
Under the Lakh Pati Didi initiative, women can receive training in various skills, including plumbing, LED bulb making, tailoring, weaving and more. After completing the training, women will be provided with opportunities to earn income using their skills.
Adhil Shetty, CEO, Bankbazaar.com said, "The expanded scope of the Lakhpati Didi scheme is not merely an increase in numbers but a catalyst for fostering confidence among women. By enhancing the benefits and extending the reach of this initiative, the government aspires to enable women to achieve financial independence."
Mamta Shekhawat, Founder, Gradding.com said, "Increasing the limit of 2 crore to 3 crore for this scheme is inspiring news. The Self Help Group, or the SHGs, was a great initiative to empower women with independence and financial freedom."
In addition to the Lakhpati Didi Initiative, Sitharaman highlighted the government's broader efforts in women's empowerment. "As our Prime Minister firmly believes, we need to focus on four major castes. They are, ‘Garib’ (Poor), ‘Mahilayen’ (Women), ‘Yuva’ (Youth) and ‘Annadata’ (Farmer). Their needs, their aspirations, and their welfare are our highest priority. The country progresses when they progress," Sitharaman said in the interim budget speech intro.
Sitharaman highlighted the distribution of 30 crore Mudra Yojana loans to women entrepreneurs. PM Mudra Yojana has sanctioned a total of 43 crore loans totalling Rs 22.5 lakh crore for youth entrepreneurs of which 30 crore loans went to women. She also underscored the government's commitment to dignifying women by ensuring their sole or joint ownership of over seventy per cent of houses under PM Awas Yojana in rural areas. This is when PM Awas Yojana (Grameen) is nearing the target of three crore houses.