India is readying herself to boost the power of her women. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Stand Up India scheme and its web portal at Sector 62 in Uttar Pradesh’s (U.P.) Noida city on Tuesday. The initiative will promote entrepreneurship among women and those from the Scheduled Cast (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) communities. “Today the ‘Stand Up India’ initiative will be launched. This initiative will promote entrepreneurship among women, SC & ST communities,” the Prime Minister tweeted, reported The Times Of India.
In a report by Hindustan Times, the Stand Up India programme aims to help Dalits and tribals with loans for entrepreneurial activity, with a call that people should change from being job seekers to job creators. The scheme will offer bank loans of between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and women setting up new enterprises outside of the farm sector.
More importantly, the Stand Up India scheme, by focusing on entrepreneurship, will enable creativity that may not be defined by academic qualifications but one that would result in productive work. For landless Dalits, whose current options may be limited to working as menial servants or farm hands or struggle through education to get government jobs, this is a window of opportunity to rise from their status as untouchables suffered by them over centuries.
Above all, the scheme may also help Dalits join the mainstream of an Indian economy that is no longer dominated by the government, and provide social mobility. There is already a Dalit Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (http://www.dicci.org/). Its members may multiply , thanks to the scheme.
According to The Hindu, as part of the launch, the Prime Minister distributed 5,100 e-rickshaws under the Mudra Yojna Scheme. The e-rickshaws were received by cycle rickshaw owners as well as women and transgenders. These e-rickshaws have been distributed for use in the Delhi-NCR region, including Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad. Customers will now be able to book e-rickshaws through the Ola mobile app and make online payment via the Freecharge platform.