Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday inaugurated the distribution ceremony of scooters, numbering 6,670, among "community cadres" under Assam State Rural Livelihood Mission's Sakhi Express scheme for the financial year 2021-22.
In the 2020-21 financial year, a total of 4,238 scooters were distributed under "Jeevika Sakhi Express" scheme ASRLM, taking the total number of distributed scooters too 10,908. Beneficiaries of "Sakhi Express" includes "Krishi Sakhi", "Bima Sakhi", "Pashu Sakhi", "Jivika Sakhi", among others who, as "community cadres" work towards mobilizing and members of self-help groups in their fields.
Speaking at the event held at the Sankardev Kalakshetra Auditorium, Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma expressed confidence the "Sakhis" who have been presented with scooters by ASRLM would work dedicatedly towards mobilizing and motivating members of self-help groups towards achieving financial self-sufficiency and independence.
The Chief Minister exuded confidence the members of female-run self-help groups achieving success in their endeavour will be a huge boost towards transforming Assam into one of the top states in terms of per capita gross state domestic product.
Speaking on the importance of credit inflow in business ventures of all magnitude, Dr. Sarma praised the state's self-help groups for timely repayment of their loan instalments to banks and other financial institutions. This, the Chief Minister stated, would ensure the bad loan component under priority-sector lending would remained within tolerable limit, thus leading to further infusion of funds for expansion of activities by the self-help groups.
Referring to the dependence of Assam on products such as milk, egg, edible oil, cereals, among others, on other states of the country, the Chief Minister said self-help groups operating at a very small magnitude 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 in terms of loan, tax subsidy, etc as formulated by the government from time to time.
Referring to products and items of a number of Assam-based self-help groups getting registered with e-commerce sites for sale outside the state and abroad, the Chief Minister appealed to the "Sakhis" to make the SHG members aware of the vast market that technological advancements offer in twenty-first century.
The Chief Minister also used the platform for today's event to spread the message of importance of family planning. He requesting the "Sakhis" present to work towards raising the awareness on benefits of a small family among the rural population. 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 appealed to the "Sakhis" to co-operate with the government in the ongoing Aadhar-seeding process for various government-granted benefits such as Orunoday, etc.
Speaking at the event, Panchayat & Rural Development Minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass lauded the Chief Minister for the overall guidance he has been providing to the various schemes of the department as well as that of ASRLM. The P&RD Minister, referring to a female entrepreneur from Lakhimpur district who's cottage industry registers an annual turnover of ₹35 lakhs per annum, appealed to the "Sakhis" to make judicious use of the scooters, with the aim of transforming the rural economy through economic participation of women folks.
Today's event, apart from "Sakhis" from districts nearby Guwahati, also saw the attendance of 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.