A self-help hroup (SHG) member from Pilangkata in Ri-Bhoi, Silme K Marak, was among the five beneficiaries of the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra who got an opportunity to interact with Prime Minister Narendra Modi via a video conferencing session today.
Thousands of beneficiaries from across the country joined the event, along with Union Ministers, MPs, MLAs, and local representatives.
Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra is being held across the country to attain saturation of flagship schemes of the government by ensuring that the benefits of these schemes reach all targeted beneficiaries in a time-bound manner. Initiated on November 15 last year, the Prime Minister has had regular interactions with the beneficiaries.
Along with Marak, other beneficiaries who interacted with the PM were M. Mallikaarjun Reddy from Telangana, Mamta Dindor from Rajasthan, Sandeep from Haryana, and Kalpana Bai from Mumbai.
The Prime Minister noted her hands-on experience with the government schemes and excellent command over Hindi language “You are very fluent, perhaps even better than me”, the PM said while praising her.
The Prime Minister also praised her social service orientation and “dedication of people like you is the strength behind our resolution to take benefits of the government scheme to every citizen. Aap jaise logon se mera kaam bahut asan ho jatahai. Aap hi Gaonki Modi ho – People like you make my job very easy. You are the Modi of your village,” the Prime Minister said.
Marak’s journey began on March 28, 2019, when she became a member of a SHG. Subsequently, that same year she was selected as an active woman in her village.
Currently, her SHG boasts eight members, with an efficiency fund of Rs. 2,500, a revolving fund of Rs. 15,000 and a community investment fund of over Rs 1 lakh, all achieved within just five years of the SHG’s establishment.
Utilising the Community Investment Fund (CIF), Marak secured a loan of Rs. 50, 000 to purchase a scooty, enabling her to travel to villages for mobilisation, training, and follow-ups with SHGs/VOs. She also availed a bank loan amounting to Rs. Lakh to establish a Common Service Centre (CSC) within her village, which provides various services to SHG members and villagers, including assistance with ST certificates, PM Kisan, e-Shram, and other online activities.
Her SHG received training in food processing, engaging in livelihood activities such as processing fruits into chips and candies. Furthermore, after a month-long training in bakery, they initiated small-scale operations at the household level.
As an active woman, Marak successfully covered all 20 villages in her area, mobilising 610 women into 61 SHGs. She provided basic training to these SHGs and diligently attended their meetings for follow-ups.
Expressing her gratitude after today’s interaction, Marak thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for launching the National Rural Livelihood Mission. She attributed her newfound self-reliance to this mission, which empowers women across the country.