M.N. Rajendra Kumar, managing trustee of Navodaya Gram Vikas Charitable Trust and president of SCDCC Bank, said on Saturday that the trust was giving importance to empowering women members in the Navodaya self-help groups formed by it.

Presiding over the convention of Navodaya SHGs of Kaup Assembly constituency organised by the trust, Mr. Kumar said the Navodaya SHGs had gone a long way in making its men and women members financially self-reliant. The aim of holding such conventions was to decide on further measures to strengthen the SHGs.

Such conventions would be held in all Assembly constituencies in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts. These conventions had no political purpose as was being assumed some persons. But if good persons entered politics, it would help society, he said.

Mr. Kumar said that he had been making consistent efforts to get loans at subsidised interest rates for all the SHGs. This should be made available not just to Navodaya SHGs, but SHGs formed by other organizations also.

As many as 18 persons who had contributed to various fields were felicitated on the occasion. They were: Prabhakar Shetty and Narayan T. Anchan (medicine), Kudi Vasanth Shetty, Purnima and U.R. Sharavati (education), Mumtaz Begum (literature), Deviprasad Shetty and Belle Shivaji S. Suvarna (social service), Subrahmanya Shetty (agriculture), N. Ramesh Shetty (cooperation), Rakesh Poojary (sports), Surendra Poojary (art/yakshagana), Shekhar Achar (banking), Mallar Srinivas Bhat (dairy farming), Sunil John D’Souza (exemplary service), Bhanumati Kanchan and Girija Salian (fisheries) and Sheela K. Shetty (special achievement).

Bhattaraka Charukirti Panditacharyavarya Swamiji of Jain Math, and Stany Tauro, priest of Our Lady of Health Church, Shirva, were present.

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