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*Empowering women, empowering nations* #Breakthebias

 Be the change you wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi’s words couldn’t have been more apt for women in the current age. Since ages, women have been considered the weaker sex, less competent than their male counterparts. But now, some women are leading the charge and excelling in the male dominant professions, whether it is working in the factories, flying a fighter jet or joining the army. 

Look at women of Madhya Pradesh—a 24-year-old Savita, a tribal girl from Chhatarpur districtwho joined the Indian army; when she returned to her village, she was greeted with garlands and patriotic songs; Another noted Hindi writer, Dr Swati Tiwari, a Bhopal-based author, received the 'National Ladli Media and Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity' for her book on the lives of widows of Bhopal gas tragedy.While men have dominated sports for decades, many women, especially from the interiors of India have shown that with support and passion, a lot can be achieved., for example, a 22-year-old, Pooja Vastrakar from Bhilaspur,is batting her way as a cricketer. 

It is often said, if you educate a woman, you educate entire family. Women across socio-economic classes are realising the importance of education and skill training. They know that it can make a difference between social mobility and a lifetime of poverty. To help women achieve their rightful status in the society, Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan has launched several campaigns such as the Chief Minister Empowerment Scheme which is aimed at helping women in distress to become self-reliant and support themselves as well as their families by linking them with skill training programs. Another important initiative is the Didi vehicle service scheme which has been started by the women of Rural Livelihood Mission in the tribal-dominated Jhabua district of the state.

To encourage start-ups by women, the government has introduced the Start-up Policy and Implementation Plan, wherein an additional 20 percent assistance is being provided to start-ups set up by women. The One stop centers are being operated in all 52 districts of the state to provide shelter, counselling, medical aid, legal aid and police assistance to the women victims of violence. 

Talking about mining and the opportunities it offers, women are still underrepresented, but the sector does offer opportunities to hire and retain women.Hindustan Zinc Ltd operations is witnessing women involvement in big way from breaking grounds to breaking barriers, it has India’s 1st woman Mine Manager, and India’s 1st woman with First Class certificate in both ‘restricted’ and ‘unrestricted’ category for operation and management of both open cast and underground mines.

The upcoming Bunder Diamond Project, a step towards Atma Nirbhar Bundelkhand, will provide hundreds of jobs to the locals, including youth and women.The project holds a promise to contribute more than Rs 28,000 crores to the government exchequer and economic activities of about Rs 40,000 crores in the region apart from providing employment opportunities. Along with the economic development due to the project, the Bunder Diamond Project will also focus on the social impact through their CSR activities. 

Many organisations have imparted education, skill development and trained women on various initiatives under the CSR ambit. For example, Jeevan Jyoti by Sterlite, Salon-i by Godrej, Project Sahki by Hindustan Zinc Limited and women empowerment initiatives by the Aditya Birla Group, are examples of positive impact on women in the regions where projects have come up. 

As we take a look back at the achievements of Indian women who have inspired generations, women should be celebrated not just on International Women’s Day but throughout the year. Cheers to the Outliers who manage to swim against the tide!


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