The Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Shri Giriraj Singh, recently launched the ‘SAMARTH Campaign on Promoting Digital Transactions in 50,000 Gram Panchayats’ under the AzadiKaAmritMahotsav in Lucknow. This campaign, initiated by the Ministry of Rural Development, aims to promote digital transactions in rural areas, with a particular focus on empowering women. The launch event witnessed the participation of various dignitaries, including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Minister of State Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.
Promoting Digital Transactions in Rural Areas
Under the SAMARTH Campaign, the government seeks to foster the adoption of digital transactions in 50,000 Gram Panchayats across India. This initiative aligns with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s AzadiKaAmritMahotsav, which commemorates 75 years of India’s independence. The campaign commenced on February 1, 2023, and will continue until August 15, 2023.
Recognition of Self-Help Groups and BC Sakhis
During the launch, Minister Giriraj Singh commended the remarkable achievement of Self-Help Groups (SHGs), highlighting their reduction in non-performing assets (NPAs) from 9.58% in 2013 to below 2% at present. He urged banks to acknowledge the outstanding credit performance of SHG members and facilitate loans to them, recognizing their splendid performance. The Minister also applauded the contribution of BC Sakhis in the digital economy, emphasizing India’s global leadership in women empowerment.
Role of BC Sakhis in Digital Transformation
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath emphasized the significant role played by BC Sakhis in Uttar Pradesh, enabling over 5 crore 57 lakh digital transactions and providing doorstep banking services to the last mile of the population. These empowered women have not only served the underserved citizens but have also helped banks save costs on low volume transactions. The government of Uttar Pradesh is further integrating banking services into digital Gram Sachivalays in villages, enhancing accessibility.
Empowering Women and Transforming Lives
Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Minister of State for Rural Development, Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution, lauded the women of India for their multitasking abilities, acknowledging their contributions in managing households as well as bringing banking services to underserved citizens across the country. Deputy Chief Minister K P Maurya acknowledged the transformational impact of BC Sakhis, highlighting their increased earning capacity and the resulting empowerment of women in rural areas.
Inspirational Tales and Testimonies
The launch event witnessed the unveiling of a compendium comprising 75 inspirational tales of BC Sakhis, showcasing their remarkable achievements. Several BC Sakhis shared their success stories, narrating how their lives have been transformed through their involvement in the digital transactions ecosystem. The event also included the distribution of Biometric Point of Sale (PoS) machines and appointment letters to newly appointed BC Sakhis.
Nationwide Participation and Webcast
Approximately 1000 BC Sakhis from all over India participated in the event held in Lucknow. State Rural Livelihood Missions (SRLMs) and stakeholders from across the country joined the event through webcasts and live streaming on social media platforms. The involvement of senior officials from the government and the banking sector showcased the comprehensive support for the SAMARTH Campaign.