Congress President and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Monday while addressing the second anniversary function of the Congress-liked UPA’s land mark scheme flagship scheme Aajivika mission, called for quick implementation of the same particularly in central and eastern parts had rechristened National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) as Aajivika.
Sonia Gandhi said that the empowerment of weaker sections and women has been the main pillar of the UPA government. The CongressPresident stressed on poverty alleviation and noted the importance of the Aajivika in making people self-dependent.
Sonia Gandhi announced that a special package is being prepared for north-eastern states and hilly states, like Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. She also explained the the target of the government and said that in the next 10 years, seven crore below poverty line (BPL) families have to be lifted out of the poverty. Sonia Gandhi said: “Aajivika Mission in many states have proved that through women self-help groups (SHGs), economical and social changes can be brought in the rural areas. Seeing this success, it seems that Aajivika Mission will have to be implemented fast across the country especially in central and eastern India.”
Launched in June 2011 in Banswada in Rajsthan by Sonia Gandhi herself, Aajivika seeks to create efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor. It seeks to enable people in rural areas to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services.
The Aajivika has a target to cover seven crore BPL households across 600 districts, 6000 blocks, 2.5 lakh gram panchayats and six lakh villages through self-managed SHGs. The ministry seeks to support the SHGs in a period of 8-10 years. While highlighting the importance of the scheme, Sonia Gandhi said “today everybody has proved that this programme can free women from the curse of poverty”.
Reiterating the commitment of the UPA government towards women empowerment, she said the bank to be established for women in the country with an investment of Rs 1000 crore will be run by women only.