Odisha Is A Pioneer State In Women Empowerment: CM Naveen Patnaik

**Bhubaneswar: ** Gracing the state-level International Women’s Day celebration at Jaydev Bhawan here today, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the occasion promised to continue his government’s efforts for protection of women’s rights and empowerment.

In his media reactions, the Chief Minister said, “International Women’s Day is a celebration of women’s rights and empowerment. Odisha is a pioneer State in women empowerment with meaningful political and socio-economic empowerment.”

“Our efforts for the protection of women’s rights will continue,” he assured.

Odisha Women and Child Development (W&CD) Minister Prafulla Samal in his reactions said, “Till date we’ve already formed 5 lakh women self help groups (SHGs). Over 50 lakh women are involved in them.”

“Our efforts are on to include all the women of our State in Mission Shakti SHG till the end of 2018. Each SHG will be provided Rs 10,000 revolving fund. Each federation will also be given Rs 25 lakh. Besides, Rs 1 lakh loan through bank linkage will be provided at 1% interest rate. This will help to market their produce,” the Minister informed.

He further informed, “In a bid to ensure sustainable livelihood, the State Government is going to empower the women entrepreneurs.”