Modi has announced that the government has been planning to offer skill development training to two crore women.
India is the most populous nation on earth and more than half of its people, 52 per cent to be precise, are aged below 30. That translates into roughly 72 crores, which is the number of Indians who are either in the working age or will reach there soon. Given that India’s sex ratio is almost evenly poised, about 35 crore women, a number almost equal to the whole population of the United States, belong to this group.
Pit this against the current data that only 10 per cent of the women are either part of the workforce or in search of a job in India and one will realise the real challenge that the nation that aspires to be a global leader in every sphere of human activity faces. There are historic and cultural reasons why Indian women are confined to their homes; it is only by breaking this stereotype of the Indian woman that we can even think of becoming a developed nation where women would hold up half the sky.
In his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that the government has been planning to offer skill development training to two crore women under the “Lakhpati Didi” scheme and it will implement this through self-help groups (SHGs). The government will start building 15,000 women SHGs and they will be given skill training in diverse areas that combine technology and agriculture, according to the Prime Minister.
Women’s SHGs are a key proven success model in several states, including the Kudumbashree Mission in Kerala which has made a big difference in the lives of lakhs of women, and converted several of them into entrepreneurs. However, it will require a focused approach and the government must work on a mission mode. It is imperative that more women join the nation’s workforce and become financially and socially self-reliant. The government must throw its full weight behind the scheme and expand it further.