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Assam govt. distributes 6,670 scooters under Rural Livelihood Mission's Sakhi Express scheme

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Aug 22, 2022 9:00 PM

Read Time: 3 minute

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma inaugurated the distribution of 6,670 scooters to "community cadres" under the Assam State Rural Livelihood Mission's Sakhi Express scheme for the fiscal year 2021-22 on August 21.

In the fiscal year 2020-21, a total of 4,238 scooters were distributed through the ASRLM scheme "Jeevika Sakhi Express," bringing the total number of distributed scooters to 10,908.

Sakhi Express beneficiaries include Krishi Sakhi, Bima Sakhi, Pashu Sakhi, and Jeevika Sakhi, among others, who work as "community cadres" to mobilise and members of self-help groups in their fields.

Speaking at the Sankardev Kalakshetra Auditorium event, Sarma expressed confidence that the "Sakhis" who had been presented with scooters by ASRLM would work tirelessly to mobilise and motivate members of self-help groups toward financial self-sufficiency and independence.

Female-led self-help groups would be huge boost to Assam's transformation

The Chief Minister expressed confidence that the success of female-led self-help groups would be a huge boost to Assam's transformation into one of the top states in terms of per capita gross state domestic product.

Sarma praised the state's self-help groups for timely repayment of loan instalments to banks and other financial institutions, speaking on the importance of credit inflow in business ventures of all sizes.
"This would ensure the bad loan component under priority-sector lending would remain within tolerable limits, thus leading to further infusion of funds for the expansion of activities by the self-help groups," he said.

Referring to Assam's reliance on products such as milk, eggs, edible oil, and cereals, among others, in other states of the country, the Chief Minister stated that self-help groups operating on a very small scale in terms of activities should strive to transform their operations into production units of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), so that they can avail various benefits such as loan, tax subsidy, and so on as formulated by the government from time to time.

Referring to a number of Assam-based self-help groups' products and items being registered with e-commerce sites for sale outside the state and abroad, the Chief Minister urged the "Sakhis" to educate SHG members about the vast market that technological advancements offer in the twenty-first century.

Platform to emphasise the importance of family planning

The Chief Minister also used today's event as a platform to emphasise the importance of family planning. He asked the "Sakhis" in attendance to work on raising rural awareness of the benefits of a small family. "A small but happy family should always be prioritised over a family that is large but stricken with poverty," the Chief Minister added.

The Chief Minister also urged "Sakhis" to help the government with the ongoing Aadhar-seeding process for various government-granted benefits such as Orunoday.

Speaking at the event, Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass praised the Chief Minister for providing overall guidance to the department's and ASRLM's various schemes.

The P&RD Minister, referring to a female entrepreneur from the Lakhimpur district whose cottage industry earns an annual turnover of Rs 35 lakhs, urged "Sakhis" to use scooters wisely in order to transform the rural economy through economic participation of women.

Today's event included Guwahati Lok Sabha constituency Member of Parliament Queen Ojha, Dispur Assembly constituency Member of Legislative Assembly Atul Bora, Additional Chief Secretary Paban Kumar Borthakur, P&RD Principal Secretary JB Ekka, P&RD Commissioner Bikram Kairi, and ASRLM Mission Director Krishna Baruah, in addition to "Sakhis" from nearby districts.

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