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PM Modi launches `Stand Up India' initiative, distributes e-Rickshaws to 151 women
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the 'Start Up India' initiative that is aimed at increasing entrepreneurship among women and people from SC/ST community in India, on Tuesday. The 'Stand Up India' initiative is expected to assist a large number of such entrepreneurs. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was also present at the event held in Noida.

Paying tribute to Babu Jagjivan Ram, who served the country for years, PM Narendra Modi said that his vision for 'Stand Up India' is to provide opportunities to Dalit and underprivileged people to begin reforms in India. "Through 'Stand Up India' initiative, we intend to turn job seekers into job creators," said PM Modi.

Besides, PM Modi also inaugurated Kaushal Vikas Kendra in Noida and flagged off 5100 e-rickshaws under MUDRA Yojana. Among these, 151 women were given e-rickshaws to ensure dignified means of earning with a purpose to take care of their family.

The initiative will help commuters to book an e-rickshaw using a mobile app and ensure digital payment of fare into the bank accounts of e-rickshaw drivers. Besides, it will also empower women from poor financial background. The initiative will also bring transgenders into the mainstream and give them a way to earn some assured income.

The scheme was launched in the presence of Union Minister for Culture and Tourism, Mahesh Sharma; Union Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha and Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik among others. The finance minister Arun Jaitley while speaking on this occasion said, "Through Stand Up India initiative, we intend to encourage entrepreneurship among woman and SC and STs."

The officials from Bhartiya Micro Credit, the firm that is facilitating the e-rickshaw distribution said earlier that 151 women from the NCR region will be provided e-rickshaws. "We are also trying to give e-rickshaws to 21 transgenders. The documentation for seven is complete. Customers can book e-rickshaws via mobile apps and pay online," said Vijay Pandey, Managing Director of Bhartiya Micro Credit earlier as reported in HT.

The women who were offered the vehicle were trained for self-defence and have been taught about tourist destinations and local places of the city. "Customers will be able to book e-rickshaws using the Ola app and pay online via Freecharge, which will be integrated under the Digital India initiative," said a statement by ministry of finance.

According to Vijay Pandey, about Rs. 68 crore for the 5,100 e-rickshaws costing about Rs. 1.33 lakh each was sponsored by 7 banks. Apart from that, the free distribution of radio sets to e-rickshaw drivers is sponsored by 4 firms including BMC.

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