From Fields to Entrepreneurship: The Impact of DAY-NRLM and MGNREGS on Female Empowerment

In a recent look at India’s economy, it’s clear that more women in rural areas are working, thanks to two important programs. The Department of Economic Affairs noticed a big increase in the number of women working in rural places. This went from 24.6% in 2017-18 to a high 41.5% in 2022-23. Similar improvements were seen in cities, going from 20.4% to 25.4%.

The report didn’t fully explain why this happened, but those working closely with rural development have an answer. The Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM) and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) have played a huge part in this positive change.

The DAY-NRLM has grown a lot since 2014, reaching 9.96 crore women across the country. Women’s groups under DAY-NRLM received significant financial support, and the projects have been successful in reducing poverty.

The MGNREGS has been creating jobs too, generating over 260 crore work days every year, with more than half going to women. Projects like building animal sheds and farm ponds have increased incomes. The Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojana has also helped women get more work.

Realizing that women in agriculture were not getting enough credit, the DAY-NRLM started a program called Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana in 2011. This, along with the Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme, has made a big difference in improving incomes for many people.

Studies show that these programs are working. Household incomes have gone up by almost 20%, and groups formed under these programs are doing well even after 6-8 years. These programs not only help financially but also build strong communities. Women’s groups, working with local leaders, are making a positive impact.

Looking at success stories, it’s clear that DAY-NRLM and MGNREGS are not just increasing the number of working women; they are making rural India better and more prosperous for everyone.


About the Author

Sheru Photography

Sheru is an Indian photographer, cinematographer, writer, and entrepreneur based in New Delhi. He gained popularity with the online handle 'Sheru Photographer.' Sheru's interest in photography began at age 9, and he honed his read more...

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