VIJAYAWADA: The state government on Monday signed MoUs with ITC Ltd, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) and Proctor and Gamble (P&G), which will lend a helping hand in empowering women of the State.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy described it as a historic occasion and said change is not possible in the society, without helping oppressed sections and strengthening rural economy. “Today, we are focusing on women’s empowerment and have launched various initiatives to bring about a change in the lives of women,” he said.
The government will launch YSR Cheyutha on August 12 under which SC, ST, BC and minority women aged between 45 and 60 will be given financial assistance of Rs 75,000 (each will get Rs 15,000 per year) in four years, which will help them become self-reliant and bring about a change in their economic status.
“The tie-ups with the major companies are for hand-holding to bring about a change in their lives,” the Chief Minister explained.
Under YSR Cheyutha, Rs 4,500 crore will be distributed, and under YSR Asara, to be launched in September, 90 lakh women of nine lakh self-help groups will be benefited.
Eligible women can avail both the schemes, he said. While Rs 6,700 crore would be distributed under YSR Asara, under the two schemes, the state will distribute Rs 11,000 crore per year which works out to Rs 44,000 crore in four years benefiting over one crore women.
The MoUs were signed in the presence of the Chief Minister. Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) CEO Raja Babu signed the MoUs on behalf of the government along with Joseph Varkey on behalf of P&G, Rajnikant Rai for ITC Ltd and Ramakrishna Reddy for HUL.
Agreeing with the Chief Minister that economic empowerment of women leads to family welfare, HUL Managing Director Sanjeev Mehta said his company has vast experience in manufacturing and marketing consumer goods.
The company has been running a programme called Shakti for women’s empowerment in Chittoor district. “We are happy to work with the government and appreciate the welfare schemes being implemented such a Amma Vodi, welfare of women, farmers, students and others,” he said.
ITC Ltd CMD Sanjeev Puri said, within one year, the Chief Minister has brought about revolutionary reforms in the economic and social sectors with focus on self-reliance of women.
“Agriculture, Manufacturing and Service sectors are our areas of interests. The government has been focusing on the social sector and we can extend our cooperation in watershed programmes, social forestry, health and sanitation and post-harvesting,” he said.
P&G CEO and MD M Gopalan lauded the Chief Minister’s vision and said the company has been helping about 20 lakh students. “We are happy to be part of YSR Cheyutha. It will generate employment opportunities,” he added.
Ministers Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy, Botcha Satyanarayana, and Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney among others were present.