Noida: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched the 'Stand Up India' initiative in Noida in a move to boost entrepreneurship among women , Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and "turn job-seekers into job creators".
Under the scheme, SC, ST and women will be provided loans between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore.
"Our tribal brethren and those belonging to Scheduled Castes will perform equally well as us if they are provided with the opportunities. How long will they wait for jobs and to which extent the government can give them jobs? God has given equal power and strength to Dalits as to us," Modi said while launching the scheme.
He said Stand Up India will help in creating 2.5 lakh entrepreneurs as every bank branch will provide two such loans without collateral for setting up a new enterprise.
"Dalit youths should aspire to become entrepreneurs and businessmen. They can easily avail loans from the Mudra Bank now," Modi said.
Urging the gathering to educate their children, Modi said that India's development journey will be stronger when it is scripted by the poor.
PM Modi also handed over keys of 5,100 e-rickshaws to the beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna and interacted with the families of some of the beneficiaries over a cup of tea.
Commuters can also call the e-rickshaws through the Ola app. Modi booked an e-rickshaw through the app and took a brief e-rickshaw ride towards the stage, making the payment for the ride through a cellphone.
"Energy banks have also been established for these e-rickshaw drivers where they can charge batteries with solar energy. The entire initiative is environment-friendly," he said on the occasion.
(With agency inputs)