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NABARD Odisha felicitates rural women ‘Change Agents’ on International Women’s Day



The Odisha Regional Office of NABARD on Tuesday celebrated the International Women’s Day. The event was organised at Bhubaneswar and in 15 districts of Odisha.

The programme at Bhubaneswar was graced by Anu Garg, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Water Resources, Government of Odisha as Chief Guest and Poly Pattnaik, Principal, Mothers’ Public School as Guest of Honour.

During the event, twelve women micro-entrepreneurs from 10 districts viz. Balangir, Bhadrak, Deogarh, Gajapati, Jajpur, Khorda, Koraput, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur and Subarnapur who transformed themselves into ‘Change Agents’ and contributed for the overall development of the Society were felicitated.

Besides, ten women CEOs of Civil Society Organisation associated with NABARD, Odisha were felicitated on the occasion.  

The women working in NGOs have played key role in advocacy, training and capacity building of women entrepreneurs in remote areas of the State.  About 170 SHG members from various districts also participated in the programme and showcased their products developed through various Micro entrepreneurship development and Livelihood entrepreneurship development projects supported by NABARD.

Highlighting the relevance of the Day, NABARD Odisha RO Chief General Manager C. Udayabhaskar shared in detail various support schemes of NABARD for the development of rural women like Self Help Groups (SHGs), Joint Liability Groups (JLGs), Micro Enterprise Development Programme, Livelihood Enterprise Development Programme, Farm and Off Farm Producer Organisations, Tribal Development Programmes, Watershed Development Programmes, Sanitary Literacy campaign, Save Water campaign, EShakti etc. He stressed upon the need to develop micro entrepreneurs particularly in the tribal districts and to double the credit to women SHGs/entrepreneurs, etc. so as to help them take up various remunerative livelihood activities and contribute to doubling their family income. NABARD would develop 20000 micro-entrepreneurs during the next financial year, he informed. 

Garg congratulated the change agents for their contributions to the society and encouraged the participants to be role models in the society. She shared her experience as the Head of Women and Child Welfare Department in the State and lauded the role of SHGs in various developmental aspects of the Government. She indicated that various steps are being taken by the state government for empowerment of women. She further said that the Government of Odisha has been making untiring efforts in building required infrastructure , capacity building and linkages. An encouraging exponent of women across the section, she appreciated the role of NABARD in supplementing the efforts of State Government in infrastructure development in rural areas and empowering the SHGs through its various promotional activities. Further, she stressed upon the need for up-scaling these small achievements and development of these into large clusters, and development of market linkage. She also appreciated the hard work and commitment of these micro entrepreneurs.

In her address, Poly Pattnaik spoke about gender inequality/disparity and importance of education for the girl child.  She also highlighted that the society at large should always be concerned and sensitive towards the needs, requirements of women and one should come forward to support the overall development of women.

The Change Agents, the micro-entrepreneurs shared their experiences and were praiseworthy about the support they had received from NABARD.

NABARD also celebrated International Women’s Day in fifteen aspirational and credit starved districts of the state and felicitated women change agents.

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