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Andhra Pradesh has most number of ‘Lakhpati Didis’, Bihar and Bengal come next


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With the number of ‘Lakhpati Didis’ - women Self-Help Group members earning a minimum annual income of Rs 1 lakh —crossing 1 crore, data available with the ministry of rural development show that Andhra Pradesh leads with over 13.65 lakh such women, followed by Bihar (1.16 lakh) and West Bengal (10.11 lakh).
Among states and UTs with the least number of ‘Lakhpati Didis’ - Lakshadweep has none so far followed by Andaman & Nicobar Islands at 242 and Goa with 206.

The ‘Lakhpati Didi’ scheme was rolled out after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech last year said that it was his dream to make 2 crore ‘Lakhpati Didis’ in the country’s villages. In the budget speech, the govt enhanced the target to 3 crore. The target is a 3-year timeline under the scheme that is being executed under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Rural Livelihood Mission. It involves assisting women with training, enterprise financing, bank and credit linkages so that they can earn a sustainable annual income of Rs 1 lakh per annum in both the farm and non-farm sector.
Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh cited the over 10 crore households which were mobilised into SHGs to play a pivotal role in driving the government’s vision of “women led development”.

If one looks at data for some of the other states, a big state like Uttar Pradesh has 6.68 lakh ‘Lakhpati Didis’ and the number is 4.94 lakh in Gujarat, 2.64 lakh in Tamil Nadu, 2.31 lakh in Kerala. In states like Madhya Pradesh, it is 9.54 lakh, 8.99 lakh in Maharashtra and 2.02 lakh in Rajasthan.
Interestingly, a small union territory like Ladakh has 51,723 ‘Lakhpati Didis’ while J&K has 29,070 women in this category. In the northeast, one finds Assam leading with 4.65 lakh women, followed by Meghalaya (33,856), Mizoram (16087), Manipur (12499) and Nagaland (10,494).

Highlighting that the significant decline in Non Performing Assets for SHGs over the last 10 years was an outcome of handholding measures, Singh cited the ‘Business Correspondent Sakhis’ at the grassroots as a pivotal link with women SHG members. SHG members appointed as ‘BC Sakhis’ are currently helping with banking transactions for rural women associated with SHGs.

Ministry’s data show around Rs 6.96 lakh crore of bank credit has been accessed by SHGs since 2013-14. NPAs of SHGs was 9.58% in 2014, which is down to 1.8%.
The ministry plans to expand the network of "BC Sakhis" (1.22 lakh) and deploy 1 for each of the over 2.7 lakh gram panchayats in the country to step up hand-holding to get more women into the fold of the ambitious “Lakhpati Didi” programme. UP has the maximum number of BC sakhis at 42666, followed by Madhya Pradesh (10850) and Rajasthan (10559).
The government also plans to appoint more SHG women as ‘bank sakhis’ who sit in a bank branch to support the beneficiaries with documentation and loan facilitation. There are over 46000 of them right now providing services across 56764 banks.

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