Village entrepreneurs operating Common Services Centers (CSCs) have the power to transform India by empowering locals and creating employment opportunities in rural India, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today. Announcing an initiative by CSC on women’s health and hygiene ‘Stree Swabhiman’, Prasad lauded efforts of the Village Level Entrepreneurs or VLEs in offering services like Aadhaar, banking, insurance and promoting digital literacy in rural India. ‘Stree Swabhiman’ aims to create a sustainable model for providing adolescent girls and women an access to affordable sanitary products by leveraging CSCs. Prasad today addressed around 2,000 women entrepreneurs including those from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha and Maharashtra, at an event in New Delhi. Under the ‘Stree Swabhiman’ project, sanitary napkin micro manufacturing units are being set up at CSCs across India, particularly those operated by women entrepreneurs.
“The initiative is driven by awareness and personalised outreach by women entrepreneurs who produce and market sanitary napkins themselves,” an official release said. Over 46,500 women are working as VLEs through the CSCs across the country. “Women have played a crucial role as change agents under the Digital India programme,” the release added. Besides promoting women’s health and hygiene, the initiative will also provide employment opportunities to women in rural communities as each facility will employ 8-10 women, the release added.