Naveen Patnaik asks district collectors to hand over unused govt assets to women self-help groups
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has directed the district collectors to hand over unused government properties and assets at the district, block and panchayat level to women self-help groups under the Mission Shakti Mahasangha (Federation) within two months to further aid their socio-economic empowerment.
Mission Shakti, which was launched by the state government in 2001, has brought nearly 70 lakh women in its fold, officials said.
The state government is committed to provide work orders worth Rs 5,000 crore to these women self-help groups, they said.
According to the direction of the chief minister, unused government buildings, government outlets and ponds lying unused at different levels right from district to panchayat level will be handed over to women SHGs under Mission Shakti.
“They would utilise the properties for the overall socio-economic development of the area,” an official said.
Naveen said: “Empowerment of women is the top priority of the government. Mission Shakti has become the agent of change. The decision taken by the state government will strengthen the silent movement waged by the mothers of our state.”
On International Women’s Day on March 8, the chief minister had said: “The mothers, who take the entire responsibility of their families, will have no problem in taking the responsibility of the society as well as the country. There is a spark of leadership in each mother. It’s our responsibility to give them the opportunity to showcase their leadership qualities. We need to utilise their leadership qualities in the inclusive development of the nation.”
An exclusive department for Mission Shakti started functioning from April 1.
The Naveen government has been campaigning for implementation of 33 per cent reservation for women in state legislative assemblies and in Parliament.
It had enhanced the women’s quota to 50 per cent in the panchayats and urban bodies in 2012.