The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today launched a significant financial inclusion initiative in Varanasi. A total of 101 e-rickshaws, 501 pedal rickshaws, and push-carts are being given as part of this initiative. The beneficiaries will also get bank accounts and RuPay cards under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. The e-rickshaws are equipped with digital gadgets including GPRS and cameras.
The initiative has been synergized through various financial institutions including SIDBI, IDBI Bank, UCO Bank and the American India Foundation. Senior officials of these organizations were present on the occasion.
The Prime Minister declared that this event marked the beginning of an initiative that would bring about a change in the fortunes of the people of Varanasi. He said a lot has been said about removal of poverty, but those efforts have not brought adequate results for several decades. He said that there is a need to increase the pace and the scale of the outcomes of the initiatives to remove poverty. He said the poor are willing to work hard to improve the lives of the future generations. In this connection, the Prime Minister said that the Union Government was putting emphasis on skill development, to help make the poor self-reliant.
The Prime Minister had earlier interacted with some of the beneficiaries who received rickshaws and push-carts. He shared their dreams with the gathering, which ranged from a better education for their children, to a boost in income that would result from enhanced sales with the aid of a push-cart.
The Prime Minister referred to the large number of Rakhis from Varanasi that he had received during the recent festival of Raksha Bandhan, and thanked the mothers and sisters of Varanasi for their blessings and good wishes.