Srinagar, Sep 14 (PTI) In order to promote door-to-door digital banking and financial services in remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Tuesday launched a mission 'One Gram Panchayat-One DIGI-Pay Sakhi' in the union territory at a function here, an official spokesman said.
The mission was launched at Jammu & Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Pampore.
Initially, the DIGI-Pay facility will be provided in 2,000 remote villages of the UT. In the first phase, 80 women from Self Help Groups from across the Jammu and Kashmir Division have been selected as DIGI-Pay Sakhis, the spokesman said.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor distributed 80 Aadhaar Enabled Payment Systems (AEPs) among the DIGI-Pay Sakhis under the Jammu & Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKRLM).
He also inaugurated a week-long training program for Krishi Sakhis and Pashu Sakhis on sustainable agriculture and livestock management.
Terming the social and economic independence of 'nari shakti' (women empowerment) as the bedrock of any nation's progress, Sinha said the J-K government has started a mass movement for the socio-economic upliftment of women across the UT.
"These three new initiatives of Digi-Pay, Krishi, and Pashu Sakhi, besides several other programs of women empowerment such as Hausla, Tejaswini, UMEED, Rise Together will further accelerate efforts of J-K government in empowering women and making them key partner in UT's development journey," he added.
Sinha outlined that DIGI-Pay Sakhi has introduced financial inclusion within the UT's Self Help Group (SHG) ecosystem, creating much needed financial access points with greater transparency even in the remotest of the areas.
Apart from depositing money, the village population can avail the benefits of additional banking and financial services such as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maandhan Yojana, registration of Kisan Credit Card etc, the Lt Governor said.
He said it was due to the visionary efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the vast marginalised section of the country's population got connected to the formal financial system through the trinity of JAM -- Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile.
We are following the ideals of the Prime Minister and creating new mediums to take the banking services to the doorsteps of the people, Sinha said.
Sustained efforts to achieve financial inclusion have empowered the deprived sections by giving financial assistance, benefits of PM-Kisan and increased wages under MNREGA during the pandemic, he added.
Highlighting the contribution of women in the rural informal sector, the Lt Governor said the initiatives like Krishi Sakhi and Pashu Sakhi will go a long way in empowering women in agriculture and the allied sectors.
Sinha further said the UT administration is taking several ground-breaking steps to transform the lives of women of Jammu and Kashmir, especially those living in rural areas by engaging them into gainful livelihood interventions.
He also announced that a first-of-its-kind Women Industrial Estate will come up at Udhampur Industrial Estate, further strengthening the women entrepreneurs ecosystem in J-K.
With increasing female literacy rate, providing access to quality education, encouraging more and more women to become entrepreneurs, and providing financial support for the upliftment of women, J-K is leading by example in terms of women empowerment, he said.
On the occasion, the Lt Governor directed the JKRLM to train DIGI-Pay Sakhis in 360 degree financial services training courses run by BSE in J&K.
On August 15, the country celebrated its 75th Independence Day with great festivity. Now, the golden opportunity of the next 25 years is before us for the centenary celebrations of Independence and we must strengthen our resolve to establish an egalitarian society without gender discrimination, giving women their due rights in the society, Sinha said. PTI SSB MIJ ABM