Namo Drone Didi: Empowering Rural Women in Agriculture

Image of Namo Drone Didi Scheme showcasing rural women operating agricultural drones, symbolizing empowerment and technological advancement in agriculture
Namo Drone Didi: Empowering Rural Women in Agriculture [Source: Goodretuens]

On March 11, 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Namo Drone Didi scheme under the Sashakt Nari-Viksit Bharat programme at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi. This initiative aims to empower rural women by providing them with agricultural drones and training them to become drone pilots for agricultural purposes.

Scheme Details:

Under the Namo Drone Didi scheme, 15,000 women-led Self-Help Groups (SHGs) will receive agricultural drones to assist in crucial tasks such as crop monitoring, fertiliser spraying, and seed sowing. This initiative not only provides women with employment opportunities but also enhances agricultural productivity through the integration of modern technology.

Benefits of the Scheme:

The Namo Drone Didi scheme offers several benefits to rural women and farmers:

  1. Employment opportunities: Women trained as drone pilots can earn additional income by providing agricultural services to farmers.
  2. Enhanced agricultural productivity: The use of drones for crop monitoring, fertiliser spraying, and seed sowing can improve agricultural productivity and efficiency.
  3. Delivery of essential items: Drone gadgets will be used to deliver items such as milk, groceries, medicines, and medical samples, improving access to essential goods and services in rural areas.

Financial Support for Self-Help Groups:

In addition to the drone distribution, Prime Minister Modi also disbursed around Rs 8,000 crore in bank loans to SHGs at subsidised interest rates through Bank Linkage Camps. Furthermore, he released approximately Rs 2,000 crore in Capitalization Support Funds to SHGs, strengthening their financial stability and capacity to drive local development initiatives.

Ambitious Goal of Creating 3 Crore “Lakhpati Didis”:

Prime Minister Modi expressed confidence in the success stories of women and reiterated the government’s ambitious goal of creating 3 crore “Lakhpati Didis” (women earning lakhs of rupees). This goal was also mentioned by Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman during the presentation of the Interim Budget 2024-25 in the Parliament, where she announced an increase in the target from 2 crore to 3 crore.

Drone Demonstrations and Interaction with Beneficiaries:

Prime Minister Modi witnessed agricultural drone demonstrations conducted by Namo Drone Didis at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute and interacted with the beneficiaries, inquiring about the support they received under the initiative. He also distributed drones to 1,000 beneficiaries during the event.

Felicitation of Successful Lakhpati Didis:

The Prime Minister felicitated Lakhpati Didis who have achieved success with the support of the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission and are now supporting and motivating members of other Self Help Groups (SHGs).

Collaboration with Garuda Aerospace:

Some of the drones distributed under the Namo Drone Didi scheme were manufactured by Garuda Aerospace, a Chennai-based startup founded by Agnishwar Jayaprakash in 2015. This collaboration highlights the government’s support for homegrown drone technology and startups in the sector.

The Namo Drone Didi scheme is a significant step towards empowering rural women and enhancing agricultural productivity through the use of modern technology. As more women are trained as drone pilots and SHGs receive financial support, the Namo Drone Didi scheme has the potential to transform the lives of rural women and contribute to the overall development of the nation.

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