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Sunday, March 13, 2011

President launches scheme for MVAS and IT related skills for women Self Help Group

A book 'Sanchar Shakti' on the scheme specially designed by the National Institute of Design was released byTelecom Minister Kapil Sibal and presented to the President, marking the eve of International Women’s Day.

In her address on the occasion, the President said,"real development cannot take root if it bypasses women, who represent the very pivot around which social change takes shape. As we make progress on gender mainstreaming, more and more women will become full partners in many activities of the Nation and society." Ms Patil said that with the launch of this scheme, rural women will become both users and enablers of ICT service with the launch of this scheme.

Under the scheme, Mobile Value Added Services are being designed to provide a variety of useful information to women about health, social issues, and government schemes, as also livelihood related inputs and training over their mobile phones, she said.

It is intended that while the targeted group will benefit through improved skills and livelihoods, the overall rural community will get access to facilities such as locally available mobile repair and solar mobile charging centres.

"Communication technology has proved very useful for exchange of best practices, and for providing a platform for exchange of information on common problems. Women's Self Help Groups (SHGs) can also look at linking with each other through ICT," she added.

Welcoming the President on the occasion, Mr Sibal said," ICT is the new age highway, which once laid, the traffic and branches of the same would spring up on its own need basis." Mr Sibal said that this e-connectivity to rural enclaves would unleash the creative spirit of the market forces and will serve as entry point to every wave of ICT revolution.

This project is ‘inclusive’ in nature as the participants include SHGs, mobile service providers, handset and modem manufacturers, mobile VAS providers, NABARD, Ministry of Rural Development and Non Government Organisations (NGOs).

The scheme would utilise core competencies of the partners in a collaborative fashion, the Minister added.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of state for Communications and IT, Sachin Pilot said,"ICT has to play an important role in taking to rural women the benefits of the schemes and policies meant for them." He underlined the significance of the scheme which lies in the fact that the benefits of ICT revolution reaches out to women who comprise nearly half of our population.source

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