On Saturday, January 11th, Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani launched the Yashaswini Scheme for women entrepreneurship and the Swasthya Sakhi project in Goa. A breast screening initiative was also launched alongside the two schemes, at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium in Taleigao town, near the Panaji district of Goa.
The Yashaswini Scheme is aimed at supporting and promoting women Self Help Groups (SHGs), by providing interest-free loans of up to Rs 5 lakh, along with guidance from leading experts, in order to enable the socio-economic empowerment of women in Goa.
The loan will have a tenure of 5 years, with the total loan amount to be paid off in four instalments, starting from the second year. A number of SHGs received loans under the scheme, including Umang Self-Help Group, Adarsha Satari Mahila Mandal Guleli – Sattari, Salcete and Phoenix Women’s Wing Self-Help Group Valpoi – Sattari.
On the other hand, the Swasthya Sakhi Project is aimed at enhancing women’s wellness and welfare, especially during pregnancy, with a view to encouraging a healthy lifestyle for both the mother and the child.
A diagnostic kit will be provided by the state government to healthcare workers, to help them provide basic diagnostic services to the residents of the state, right at their doorsteps. This will also allow them to digitise all the health information of the patients. The kit will consist of a full set of basic equipment necessary for conducting tests like blood sugar, blood pressure, blood haemoglobin, and heart rate. It has been developed using corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds, by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI). In addition, the kit will also allow the workers to monitor women’s health during pregnancy. This will help make early detection of deficiencies possible, along with the identification of high-risk pregnancy cases, so that timely referrals and treatments can be availed.
And finally, the healthcare workers will also screen close to 20,000 women in the state for breast cancer, helping such services to be made available even in the rural areas of the state.