Women Empowerment At All Levels: Jayesh Ranjan at Digital Women Awards

Jayesh Ranjan, the Principal Secretary of the Telangana government, delivered a powerful opening speech at the Digital Women Awards 2023 held in Hyderabad with a vision of inclusivity and empowerment for women across diverse backgrounds.

Ishika Thanvi
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Jayesh Ranjan at Digital Women Awards

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Jayesh Ranjan, the Principal Secretary of the Industries & Commerce (I&C) and Information Technology (IT) Departments of the Telangana government, delivered a powerful opening speech at the Digital Women Awards 2023 held in Hyderabad. His address resonated with the essence of inclusivity and empowerment, reflecting the commitment of the Telangana government towards building a diverse and supportive ecosystem.


In his opening remarks, Ranjan emphasised the heterogeneous nature of the space when discussing women. Ranjan challenged the notion of treating all women as a homogeneous category. He highlighted the existing disparities, focusing on the urban-rural divide and other dimensions. Ranjan stressed the importance of being an inclusive society and government, asserting that it is everyone's responsibility to uplift all women, not just the educated and privileged ones.

“..To be an inclusive society & an inclusive government, it’s our responsibility to carry everyone along. Most of the women present here belong to educated and privileged backgrounds. We also need to look at the rest of them. The ones who are languishing behind due to various factors. Is there any hope for them? Can we be the people who can carry this hope in order to help them?”

The Social Mobilisation Approach

Drawing from his extensive experience, Ranjan delved into the success of organising underprivileged women into self-help groups, a program he personally pioneered in the combined state of Andhra Pradesh. He narrated the innovative approach of the "Social Mobilisation Approach," wherein building credibility and gaining the trust of impoverished women were paramount. Living among them, understanding their challenges, and guiding them to break the cycle of poverty became a cornerstone of this transformative initiative.

‘No God Wants You to Be Like This’ - On Challenges

Talking about the challenges faced during such drives, Ranjan reflected on a very sad reality.


He says, “One of the biggest challenges is, when you ask such women if they are hopeful or that they can come out of such poverty, 99% would say ‘No, it’s my destiny’, ‘There is nothing that can be done’, or ‘God wants me to be like this’. It requires a lot of effort to break that belief. No God wants you to be like this…We have to make them understand the reality, You are not poor because of God, you are poor because of the rich. It’s a very bold message & it takes a lot of effort to make them realise this.

From ₹50 Loans to Empowered Entrepreneurs

Ranjan recounted the challenges faced by women at the margins of society, emphasising their lack of access even to a ₹50 loan in emergencies. Through concerted efforts, these women not only received financial assistance but collectively raised substantial amounts from various financial institutions. Their transformative journey included improvements in social indicators, such as sending their daughters to school and persuading husbands to overcome addiction.

We-Hub: Maximising Opportunities for All

Shifting the focus to present initiatives, Ranjan spoke about the efforts in Telangana to empower women through We-Hub. The goal is to create strong entrepreneurs by maximising opportunities for everyone, regardless of their background. Initiatives like the Girls in STEM program and collaboration with T-Hub highlight the commitment to bridge foundational differences and provide equal chances for success.

“Let us say you are a young student studying in a remote village coming from a modest family, what is it that a similarly placed girl studying in one of the best schools in Telangana gets that you are deprived of?” says Ranjan.



Addressing the issue of stereotyping, Ranjan passionately advocated for dismantling the stereotypes perpetuated by men.

Ranjan says, “It is no surprise that this stereotype has been created by men, fostered by men, fueled & propagated by men. Men have a 100% vested interest in letting the stereotypes win. How do you work around this? There is an important need to sensitise this.” 

He outlined three strategies for behaviour change – persistent sensitisation, fear of punishment, and creating a stake. He emphasised that women's success is not only a personal victory but a pathway to prosperity for families, communities, and society at large.

Jayesh Ranjan's opening speech at the Digital Women Awards 2023 encapsulated a vision of inclusivity, empowerment, and breaking barriers for women across diverse backgrounds. The Telangana government's initiatives, under his leadership, are a testament to their commitment to creating an ecosystem where every woman has the opportunity to thrive and succeed. 

As the awards unfolded, Ranjan's call to celebrate every woman's triumph echoed, creating a powerful resonance that will undoubtedly inspire change beyond all states.

Suggested Reading: SheThePeople Announces Winners Of Digital Women Awards 2023 

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