In a significant step towards empowering women-folk in villages, the Odisha government announced to handover all unused government properties in panchayats to women self-help groups (SHGs) federated under Mission Shakti programme.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed district collectors to complete the process of handing over of properties within next two months. “There are many government properties including government building, shopping complex and community ponds lying unutilised in panchayats, blocks and districts. If the properties are given to women, they will use it for social and economic upliftment of the area,” said Mr. Patnaik.
“It would benefit general public as well as women groups would generate income,” he remarked, adding, “The empowerment of women has always been priority of my government. Mission Shakti has become instrumental of change. This step would help the silent revolution of women in the State.”
Mr. Patnaik’s government has carved out a separate department for Mission Shakti, which is expected to give power to 70 lakh women associated with self-help groups under the programme.
According to the government, Mission Shakti was launched in the year 2001 with the objective of organising women into SHGs for holistic empowerment and targeted livelihood activities. Currently, there are six lakh SHGs in Odisha under Mission Shakti having 70 lakh members.
Last year, the State government had roped in women for providing cooked food to migrant labourers who were accommodated in COVID-19 care centres following the pandemic.