In a significant move towards women empowerment, the Assam government recently unveiled the “Lakhpati Baideo” scheme, targeting 40 lakh self-help group (SHG) workers.
The initiative, announced by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, aims to transform these women into rural micro-entrepreneurs by providing them with ₹35,000 in financial assistance.
The ‘Mukhya Mantri Mahila Udyamita Abhiyan,’ with an estimated cost of ₹4,000 crore, is set to make a substantial impact. In the first year, every SHG worker will receive ₹10,000, followed by ₹12,500 from the government and an additional ₹12,500 as a bank loan over the next two years (totaling ₹25,000). To qualify for the grant, beneficiaries are required to submit a business plan.
Chief Minister Sarma expressed pride in contributing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of creating two crore ‘Lakhpati didis’ and shared the news on social media. He emphasized the scheme’s role in linking welfare initiatives to population control measures, stating, “All our welfare schemes will be linked to population control measures for the benefit of our mothers and sisters.”
To be eligible for the scheme, women must meet three preconditions. Those belonging to the general and OBC categories must have no more than three children, while those in the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes should not exceed four children.
Additionally, SHG members must enroll their girl child in school, with an undertaking to do so if they are underage. The third condition mandates that the trees planted under the Amrit Brikshya Andolan by beneficiaries must be thriving.
This pioneering initiative not only supports women in achieving an annual income of ₹1 lakh but also aligns with broader societal goals of population control and environmental sustainability. The ‘Lakhpati Baideo’ scheme is a beacon of empowerment, fostering economic growth and social development among the women of Assam.