Andhra women an example for the world, says Sonia Gandhi

February 27th, 2009 - 3:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiHyderabad, Feb 27 (IANS) The women of Andhra Pradesh had set an example for empowerment of women all over the world, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi said here Friday and added that she was “moved and satisfied” by how they were inspiring others.
Inaugurating a pension scheme for members of women’s self help groups (SHGs), Gandhi said she was proud of the achievements of the women of the state.

“I have met with self help groups in Andhra Pradesh a number of times. Every time I meet them I go back moved and satisfied by the way the women are inspiring others. They are actually setting an example for the rest of the country and the world,” the Congress president said while interacting with SHG members at Begumpet Airport.

Gandhi arrived here Friday on a two-day visit to the state, during which she will kickstart the ruling Congress’s election campaign by addressing public meetings.

“In the international conferences on women empowerment, the first example which is taken is that of the women from Andhra Pradesh,” she said.

Under the pension scheme, Abhaya Hastam, a member of an SHG will be eligible for monthly pension of Rs.500 on attaining 60 years of age.

“This new programme will give you the security. As you grow older you don’t know what happens. This insurance scheme will look after that side of your life,” she said.

Some members of SHGs shared their experiences and welcomed the scheme, to which each member will contribute one rupee every day. The government would make an equal contribution. Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India will manage the funds.

The nominee of the member will get all the corpus in the event of the death of the member.

The scheme will benefit 150,000 SHG members from March 1. The state has 12.5 million SHG members, the largest in the country. They are engaged in various economic activity at the village level and the government is making available loans to them at cheap rates.

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and his cabinet colleagues were also present on the occasion.

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