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The Narendra Modi government was committed to its mission of empowering rural women, not only through loans and subsidies, but also by equipping them with new technologies to boost their confidence, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday.

She was addressing a gathering of Flo, the women’s wing of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in Bengaluru.

“Because of government programmes, today the aptitude for innovative activities is not just the purview of women in metropolitan areas, but also in remote regions across the country,” she said.

Referring to the government’s recent initiative of NaMo Drone Didi, which trains women to pilot drones in villages to spray pesticides and fertilisers on crops, the finance minister said teaching women a technology that even men weren’t using was a big step in boosting their confidence.

“Women have responded to this and other similar government initiatives with unbridled enthusiasm,” said Sitharaman.

Praising women for their resilience during Covid, the minister said many of them turned the crisis of the pandemic into a huge opportunity. “So many women began cloud kitchens. They wrote books, started podcasts, even entered the retail investment market with gusto,” she added. In the past few years, she said, women’s presence in labour force participation, in growing savings apart from just at the post-office, and in consumption of tech products to promote skills, had increased tremendously.

Empowerment, the minister said, was a task that had to be done generation after generation, without a one-time solution. “Decay sets in in every skill and every area after a while, so sustaining a high is a constant task,” she added.

  • Published On Apr 24, 2024 at 08:45 AM IST

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