UP govt to launch programmes to attract women voters

The UP government’s latest initiative is the move to appoint ‘Banking Correspondent Sakhi’, or female banking agents, in all 5,8000 gram panchayats in the state. The sakhis will do door-to-door visits and are expected to become the main link betwe...

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NEW DELHI: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is launching a series of programmes aimed at empowering women, which the ruling BJP hopes will help it win more votes from the “aadhi aabadi” (half the population, or women).

The UP government’s latest initiative is the move to appoint ‘Banking Correspondent Sakhi’, or female banking agents, in all 5,8000 gram panchayats in the state. The sakhis will do door-to-door visits and are expected to become the main link between female customers, particularly those who are associated with self-help groups (SGHs), and the bank.

Officials in State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM) said the process to appoint these female agents would begin within two months in all gram panchayats. “We may require such women who possess a high school certificate … they are also expected to operate a laptop,” an official said.


Apart from a commission based on the transactions they help carry out, these female bank agents will get Rs 4,000 a month for the next six months.

Last week, the Adityanath government had transferred Rs 218 crore online to 31,938 SHGs from the Revolving and Community Investment Fund. Besides, the government has got involved a number of SHGs for making masks, personal protective kits and sanitizer amid the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have supplied masks, made by SHGs, to the Lucknow army cantonment, government hospitals, PNB and other organisations. We also got good demands for the PPE kits,” SRLM managing director Sujit Kumar said.
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The state government is raising three women’s battalions of Provincial Armed Constabulary at Lucknow, Badaun and Gorakhpur. In February, the chief minister laid the foundation stone for the first battalion at Gorakhpur.

The state government has introduced an “anti-Romeo Squad” in the police to tackle eve-teasing and paid special attention to the implementation of the ‘Nirashrit Mahila Pension scheme’ for widows. Its other pro-woman schemes include ‘Mukhyamantri Kanya Sumangala Yojana’ and the ‘Pink bus service’.

The ruling BJP, meanwhile, has given a special focus to expand the base of the party’s woman cell, “Mahila Morcha”.

Sunil Bansal, who is UP’s general secretary (organisation), said the party has more than 10 lakh female members in the state. “Our party workers make people aware about the pro-woman schemes of the Yogi government at the ground level,” he replied to a question.
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The president of the women’s cell in UP, Drashana Singh, said the Mahila Morcha had a presence even at the mandal levels of the party organisation. “Currently the Mahila Morcha is also helping women who are associated with various SHGs in making masks,” she said.

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