New Delhi, January 27, 2018: f

Addressing the inaugural function at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi, the Hon’ Minister said, “Today, people from poor and marginalized communities are engendering change through CSC. CSC is a movement for boosting the confidence of masses in India. I am proud of the fact that women of my country operate more than 45,000 CSCs. They are the pillars of Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao campaign (save daughter, educate daughter), started by the Government.”

He added, “Modi government’s focus is on women’s empowerment so that women from marginalized communities are brought to the mainstream and are participants of India’s growth story. I am sure that with the help of Women VLEs, CSC Stree Swabhiman project can transform the society and increase the pace of change in rural India by educating women about the need of hygiene and importance of sanitary napkins.”

The Hon’ Minister was addressing around 2000 VLEs, especially women VLEs  from across India, especially Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Maharashtra, gathered in New Delhi.

He also mentioned that terrorist will fail in obstructing our mission of making CSC’s an agent of change in rural India & particularly in the disturbed areas of J & K. Hon’ Minister said that I hope that in next few years, in UN development index CSC will have significant contribution.

He also added that Corporate India should find the relevance of engaging CSC in reaching rural India. As when the world will talk about reforms, CSC will be placed at its prime position. His ultimate ambition is to make CSC as one window service.

Talking about the BPOs in rural India, he hoped that banking & insurance sector should initiate a move towards helping CSCs in providing them jobs and create employment.

Common Services Centers, through its initiative for women’s health and hygiene, named ‘Stree Swabhiman’ is striving to create a sustainable model for providing affordable and accessible sanitary products close to the homes of adolescent girls and women. The initiative is driven by awareness and personalized outreach by women entrepreneurs who produce and market sanitary napkins themselves.

The initiative aspires to play its part in reducing gender divide in access to development opportunities for girls and women which sadly affects access to education, health and workforce participation. The 2015 UNDP Human Development Report has ranked India 130 out of 155 countries in the Gender Inequality Index (GII), trailing behind lesser developed Asian countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Shri Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, MeitY, said, “The network of 2.70 lakh centres in India has done excellent work in Tele-Medicine, Insurance, Soil Health Card, Aadhaar enrollment, Digital Literacy, Tele-law, Skill development. I am very happy to note that today CSCs are getting great opportunity to contribute in women empowerment in India through Stree Swabhiman project. CSCs are working great job in Rural BPO. CSC movement is moving forward from strength to strength.” He added, “The VLEs’ should promote the payments through Digital Transactions for merchants in the country. As merchants would be a key for making this transition a success in this government” He mentioned to use BharatQR code and Bhim QR code in every CSC.”

While welcoming the participants to the workshop, Dr. Dinesh Tyagi, CEO, CSC SPV said, “India can ensure inclusive growth with women empowerment. Apart from boosting women’s health and hygiene, our Stree Swabhiman’s initiative will also provide employment opportunities to women in rural communities as each facility will employ 8-10 women. In Stree Swabhiman project, we have set goal to set up minimum 6000 units where minimum 10 women will be given employment. “With the motivation of Hon’ble Minister, CSC has achieved new heights. Today, 2.70 lakh CSCs are providing plethora of services at the doorsteps of the citizens. We have created ICT enabled rural enterprises in the country,” Dr. Tyagi added.

Ms. Usha Sangwan, MD-LIC said, “India can’t achieve inclusive growth without the growth of women. It gives me immense pleasure that CSC has the focus of rural and women empowerment. I am confident that the CSC movement will revolutionize the rural India with the help of women VLEs. LIC and CSC SPV have common agenda of empowerment in India. LIC has offered full support to CSC to make their endeavor to transform rural India a grand success. Besides providing premium collection to all CSCs, she also extend to permit all 2.70 CSC to work as its agent in rural India.  With this goal, LIC is working with CSC SPV in India.”

“We are delighted to associate with CSC’s Stree Swabhiman, an initiative towards women’s health and hygiene and sponsor 10,000 girls to take care of menstrual hygiene needs. Educating and creating awareness among girls and women in the rural areas on the benefits of menstrual hygiene and easy access to eco-friendly sanitary napkins is the need of the hour. This initiative is in sync with Parivartan, a step towards progress, our Bank’s CSR initiative, where school sanitation, particularly aimed towards the girl child is one of the core objectives. Creating awareness and providing access to health and hygiene will make the girls and women in rural areas more confident and help make a difference to the society, said Ms Smita Bhagat, head – Govt Business & eCommerce, HDFC Bank. On the event, HDFC also supported “Stree Swabhiman” initiative with Rs 50 Lakhs grant and also suggested that HDFC products will be made available through CSC in rural India.

Women have played a crucial role as change agents under the Digital India programme. As many as 46,597 women are working as Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) through the Common Services Centers (CSCs) across the country.

CSC SPV embarked on project ‘Stree Swabhiman’ in 2017 for advancing women’s health and hygiene, especially in rural areas of the country. Under this project, Sanitary Napkin Micro Manufacturing Units are being set up at CSCs across the country, particularly those operated by women VLEs. The sanitary napkins produced by these units not only suit the needs of low-income communities, but are also bio-degradable and thus environment friendly. Besides, these are made easily accessible to rural communities.

The Hon’ Minister, who inaugurated the event, appreciated the efforts of the enterprising VLEs in providing key services like Aadhaar, banking, insurance, digital literacy to the grassroots.

Apart from the Hon’ Minister, the event was attended by Shri Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Shri Sanjay Goel, Joint Secretary-MeitY,  Ms. Usha Sangwan, MD-LIC among others.

The Hon’ Minister presented award to the 32 Women VLEs for their contribution in rural empowerment:

About CSC:

The Common Service Center (CSC) Scheme is an integral part of “Digital India” initiative of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India.

The CSCs are ICT enabled front end service delivery points at the village level enabling delivery of Government, Financial, Social and Private Sector services in the areas of agriculture, health, education, entertainment, FMCG products, banking, insurance, pension, utility payments, etc. CSCs are managed and operated by a village level entrepreneur (VLE)

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