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Women in Agriculture

NaMo Drone Didis: Empowering Women and Transforming Skies

NaMo Drone Didis: Empowering Women and Transforming Skies

In a significant move towards gender equality and technological advancement, the NaMo Drone Didis, an all-women team of drone operators, have embarked on a journey to fly drones across the country.

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NEW DELHI, 17 March 2023: In a significant move towards gender equality and technological advancement, the NaMo Drone Didis, an all-women team of drone operators, have embarked on a journey to fly drones across the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed a live demonstration of their skills in Delhi, marking a new chapter in India’s drone technology.

The NaMo Drone Didis Initiative

The NaMo Drone Didis initiative is a unique program that trains women in operating drones. The initiative aims to empower women by providing them with skills in a field that is rapidly growing and has immense potential for job creation.

Flying Across the Country

The NaMo Drone Didis have undertaken the ambitious task of flying drones across the country. This endeavor is not just a demonstration of their skills but also a testament to the possibilities that drone technology holds for India. The journey will cover diverse terrains and weather conditions, showcasing the robustness of the drones and the proficiency of the operators.

PM Modi Witnesses Demonstration

Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed a live demonstration of the NaMo Drone Didis in action in Delhi. The demonstration included various maneuvers and applications of drones, from surveillance to delivery of goods. The Prime Minister lauded the initiative and the women behind it, stating that it is a significant step towards women empowerment and technological advancement in the country.

Impact on Women Empowerment

The NaMo Drone Didis initiative is a powerful tool for women empowerment. By training women in a high-tech field like drone technology, the initiative is breaking gender stereotypes and opening up new avenues for women. The women trained under this initiative, fondly known as the ‘Drone Didis’, are now skilled professionals capable of operating drones for various applications.

Transforming the Skies

The initiative is not just transforming lives on the ground but also the skies. With drones becoming increasingly prevalent in various sectors, from agriculture to logistics, the NaMo Drone Didis are at the forefront of this transformation. Their journey across the country is a demonstration of the potential of drone technology and its capacity to revolutionize various industries.

Information about NaMo Drone Didis initiative

The scheme was approved by the Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi for providing Drones to the Women Self Help Groups (SHGs), with an outlay of INR 1261 Crore for the period from 2024-25 to 2025-26.

The scheme aims to provide drones to 15,000 selected Women SHGs during the period 2023-24 to 2025-2026 for providing rental services to farmers for agriculture purpose.

The highlights of this scheme are as under

The scheme aims to integrate resources and efforts from the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), Department of Rural Development (DoRD), and Department of Fertilizers (DoF), along with Women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and Lead Fertilizer Companies (LFCs).

Identified clusters where drone usage is economically viable will be determined, and approximately 15,000 women SHGs across various states in these clusters will be chosen to receive drones.

Central Financial Assistance, covering 80% of the drone and accessory costs up to a maximum of INR 8 Lakh, will be provided to the selected women SHGs. The remaining amount can be raised by the Cluster Level Federation (CLFs) of SHGs through loans under the National Agriculture Infra Financing Facility (AIF), with an interest subvention of 3%.

A member of the SHG, aged 18 or above and duly qualified, will undergo a 15-day training program facilitated by the State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM) and LFCs. This training includes a mandatory 5-day drone pilot training and an additional 10-day session focusing on agricultural applications such as nutrient and pesticide application. Another member or a family member of the SHG with a predisposition for repairs of electrical and mechanical equipment will be trained as a drone technician/assistant.

To alleviate procurement and maintenance challenges faced by SHGs, LFCs will serve as intermediaries between drone supplier companies and SHGs. LFCs will also advocate for the use of Nano Fertilizers like Nano Urea and Nano DAP through drones, which SHGs can offer to farmers for rent along with pesticide applications.

The scheme anticipates providing sustainable business and livelihood support to 15,000 SHGs, enabling them to earn additional income of at least INR 1 lakh per annum. It aims to introduce advanced agricultural technology to enhance efficiency, increase crop yields, and reduce operational costs for the benefit of farmers.

Eligibility and Application Process

The scheme is exclusively available for women belonging to lower economic groups who are involved in agricultural activities. Required documents include Aadhaar card, passport-sized image, account passbook, PAN card, and email address. While the application process has not commenced yet, interested individuals can stay updated through official government channels and prepare by enhancing their agricultural and drone technology skills.

In Conclusion

The NAMO Drone Didi Scheme underscores the government's commitment to integrating drone technology into India's agricultural landscape and promoting women's empowerment. By allocating significant resources to support women's self-help groups, the scheme aims to drive technological advancements in agriculture while fostering economic empowerment.

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