ARTICLE ON THE DIFFERENT WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENTAL PROGRAMMES REAGARDING THE UPLIFTMENT OF WOMEN AND CHILD STATUS IN INDIA.
An eminent and young Nobel laureate Malala Yousafazai once quoted “I raise up my voice – not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” This belief precisely outlines the foundation for a new era where women strive to achieve their desired place in the contemporary society. The 21st century has the seen the world change several fold. It has seen the societal roles being interchanged. On one hand women are taking up jobs which were earlier regarded to be reserved only for the male population and men taking up roles which were sought out for the females. A social sovereignty has been established which paved way for concepts of feminism and political equality to make its way through after countless years of patriarchal dominance and struggle.
In the light of the facts, the global figures speak somewhat of a different tale. Discrimination against women have also seen a sharp increase terming it to be rampant across the globe in the recent century. Patriarchal societies across the globe are adept at ravage exploitation and victimization of women. The global numbers suggest that 50% of the world’s total population comprise of women yet quite woefully most of them are denied the basic privileges of basic education, freedom of independent speech, the power to cast their votes and independent identity. In numerous crimes being subjected specifically towards the majority of women population have also seen a profound rise. While the question of equality on the basis of gender still remains to be a profound challenge even for the most advanced of societies, the developing nations are still far from attaining the desired foothold on the situation.
India, regarded to be the largest existing democracy in the world, a country which has given birth to numerous renowned and influential personalities has been subjected to have contained itself within its patriarchal norms. A nation which has laid down countless lives in achieving independence from the tyrant British Empire where men and women have fought hand in hand towards a greater purpose. Regardless of the strides that the nation has made in the fields of science, commerce and the arts, it still considers itself to be a society where men seem trigger a sense of dominance over their female counterparts. In theory, women seem to enjoy a position of equal prominence among their male counterparts as per the constitutional framework and legal provisions. Potentially, the country has taken significant strides towards the incorporation of women with their male counterparts making prominent strides the fields of literature to scientific research and finance. In spite of these valiant remarks, the reports of various societal evils being committed against the female gender makes the headlines of newspapers on a daily basis. The country has seen cases of dowry killings, gang rapes, female foeticides witness a stupendous increase through the past few years producing a silent question mark on the true development of the Indian society. While women of all ages are being subjected to confinement and restrictions on their daily life, the majority of the population still chooses to remain silent on the issue. The government on the other hand is trying on a prominent manner to eradicate the deep rooted customs and traditions of the age old society which lay ground for the emergence and increase of the nationwide distress.
The government has gradually taken effective measures to condemn the varied social evils which exist in the Indian society. The government has produced laws which are in sync to the current situation and condemning the activities which are a potential threat to the existence of women. India has also been known for nurturing young children to function as a labour workforce. The children working to provide for their families are not a rare sight in the country. Young children can be found working tea stalls across the road to the streets. Children are the primary workforce the thriving begging industry which is unique compared to other nations of the world. The begging industry is estimated to be valued as the fourth industry in India which enjoys blooming business all year round. Children emerge ill equipped without the basic privilege of basic primary education causing them to commit to various other means of livelihood thus producing a generation of criminals. The government has formulated amendments in the constitution providing children as well as women varied schemes and effective measures safeguarding the integrity as well as the potential exploitation of the both.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development, a branch of Indian Government is soulfully committed in the formulation and proper administration of the rules and regulations concerning the women’s and child development of the country. The Ministry has categorized the schemes devised by the government into three prominent categories.
· Child Development Schemes.
· Women Empowerment Schemes.
· Child Protection and Welfare Schemes.
· INTEGRATED CHILD PROTECTION SCHEME.
A centrally scheme directed in constructing a protective environment for children in adverse circumstances. This scheme provides in inculcating all the child protection services under an umbrella combining additional interventions preventing potential harm to the children. This scheme institutionalises essential services for strengthening structures and institutions providing for a prominent database for knowledge ensuring child protection from both at the family and community level.
· RAJIV GANDHI SCHEME FOR EMPOWERMENT OF ADOLECENT GIRLS ( RGSEAG)
The RGSEAG or the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for the Empowerment of Adolescent Girls, launched in 2010 and implemented across 200 districts across the whole nation on a pilot basis. The scheme was sponsored and funded from the central government for the betterment of adolescent girls between the age grounds of 11 to 18. Currently being implemented with the use of platforms of the Integrated Child Development Services and Schemes having priory two components which are the nutrition and the non-nutrition component.
Major objectives of the scheme are to –
· Enabling the AG’s for the development and empowerment of the girls.
· Improving their health and nutritional status.
· Promoting general awareness about the importance of self-health, hygiene and nutrition during the adolescence period which effects their overall sexual and reproductive health.
· Upgrading the home skills of the individual.
· Providing effective guidance and information regarding the purpose of post office, banks and police stations.
· Providing basic formal and non-formal education to the adolescent girls.
The various services provided to the individuals are –
· Provisions for nutrition.
· Supplementation of Iron and Folic acid.
· Regular health check-ups.
· Education on nutrition and health management.
· Education on issues of family welfare.
· Providing vocational education for girls aged 16 and above under the National Skill Development Scheme (NSDP)
· KISHORI SHAKTI YOJNA.
The ministry came forward in the year 2000 using the previous structure of the Integrated Child Development Scheme. This scheme aims at providing the proper amount of nutritional facilities improving the mental physical capabilities of the individual. The scheme provides for the women in promoting the general awareness among the people ensuring their overall development of an individual.
· RASHTRIYA BAL KOSH.
This new initiative taken by the Government of India was primarily launched by the UPA Government in February 2013. This initive mainly emphasized on the detection of the four D’s prevalent among children. This was launched to provide comprehensive health care services improving the quality of life of the children through the early detection of birth defects and deficiencies. The RASHTRIYA BAL SWATHYA KARYAKRAM aimed at the screening of the four D’s from the age group of 1 to 18 years. The individuals detected for diseases would be entitled to surgeries at the tertiary level under the National Rural Heath Mission.
The salient features of the mentioned scheme is as follows –
· The scheme was aimed at covering all the districts under the country’s administration in an organized and phased manner with an initial target group of 27 crore children.
· Under the jurisdiction of the scheme, the children are to be screened for 30 common ailment for providing valuable intervention at the primary level aiming at intervention at an early stage.
· Birth defects and disabilities such the Down’s syndrome, deficiency conditions leading anaemia, malnutrition and goitre. Various others such heart disease and congenital cataract tare also to be screened under this scheme.
· Mobile health teams are to be given the opportunity to dedicate towards the screening of children.
· The children in the age group of 0 to 6 enrolled in anganwadis should be provided with regular basis check-ups, government as well non-government institutions such as schools should have proper infrastructure to conduct the screening of the children.
· Children with birth deficiencies and disabilities should be referred to higher institutions such hospitals and nursing homes for check-ups and treatment.
· INTEGRATED CHILD DEVELOPMENT SERVICES.
The Integrated Child Development Services was launched in the year 1975 in collaboration with the National Policy for Children. In the recent years this scheme has emerged to be one of largest family and community welfare schemes in the modern world. This scheme aims at providing food, basic pre-school education and primary health centres to the children to the age group below 6 years and their mothers.
The ICDS provides a few basic services which mainly are-
· Referral services.
· Supplementary nutrition.
· Preschool and formal education.
· Health check-ups.
· Information about health and nutrition.
The nutritional services are provided to a child below the age of 6 years’ worth 500 kilocalories every day. The adolescent girls receive up to 500 kilocalories per day having a mandatory 25 grams of protein to maintain health standards. The government strictly follows the health standards recommended by the World Health Organization for the ICDS and the National Rural Health Mission.
The end of 2010 the scheme claimed to have reached 80.6 lakh lactating and expectant mothers along with 3.93 crore children under the age of 6 years.
· BETI BACHAO BETI PADHAO SCHEME.
In accordance to the census data which stated that the child sex ratio (0-6 years) in India which was 927 girls to every 1000 boys had dropped to 918 to every 1000 boys in 2012, the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme took initiation from 22nd January 2015 inaugurated by the honourable prime minister of pour country, Shri Narendra Modi. This scheme invariably aimed at addressing the grave issue of the declining numbers of the female population of the country. It primarily focused on the multi section action in a 100 districts all over the country having a low CSR (Child Sex Ratio). On 26 August 2016, the Olympic bronze medallist Shakshi Malik was appointed as the brand ambassador for the scheme. The scheme was initiated and launched with an estimated funding of 100 crores targeting mainly the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Delhi.
Strategies devised to successfully carry out the schemes are-
· Implementing a sustainable Mobilization and Communication Campaign to create an equal value in promoting education of the girl child.
· The main focus should be on the districts or states having the considerable lower CSR rates.
· WOMEN HELPLINE SCHEME.
This scheme was launched to provide a 24 hours spontaneous service and an immediate response to women subjected to forms of violence and exploitation. This scheme was launched on 1st of April, 2015. This scheme provides a direct referral to the nearby police station which are sought after to provide instantaneous help within appropriate time. This is a universalization of the scheme through an accessible phone number valid across the whole country.
The Women Helpline has been collaborated with the One Stop Centre under which one OSC has been set up in every state to provide direct help and forms of integrated support and assistance to women in distress.
The prime objectives of the mentioned scheme are –
· To ensure in providing a toll free telecom service to the women subjected to violence and exploitation.
· To provide effective and appropriate information about mentioned government services and schemes available for the safeguarding the integrity of women. This scheme in particular deals with the situation in a local area of the victim.
· NARI SHAKTI PURASKAR.
This award which is presented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, working for the recognition of eminent women personalities in light of the spirit of courage under adverse circumstances. The award recognizes the contribution of women in the pioneering in the fields of social work empowering and raising the cause of women in front of the nation. Started in 1991, this award is presented by the presented by the President of India on the prime occasion the International Women’s Day on 8th of March every year in New Delhi. The award holds a cash reward of rupees one lakh and a certificate.
In the year of 2012, this award was posthumously accorded to the 2012 New Delhi gang rape victim Nirbhaya.
· UJJAWALA : A COMPREHENSIVE SCHEME FOR THE PREVENTION OF TRAFFICKING AND RESCUE, REHABILITAION AND RE-INTEGRATION OF VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING FOR COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION.
The trafficking of children and women for commercial sexual exploitation and victimization is an network of organized crime deep rooted in the Indian society violating the basic rights of a human being. India as a country has been regarded as one of the prime centres which works as source and as transit point of the international racket carried out exploiting women from all round the country. The major catalysts for this form of exploitation is the premiere lack of formal education and high poverty levels among the majority of the population subjected to commercial sexual trade.
Keeping in mind, the various challenges posed in front of the government, the Ministry has devised a Central Scheme for the Prevention of Trafficking of Women and Children under the name “UJJAWALA”. The scheme has been primarily implemented for the prevention of various forms commercial sexual exploitation of women and children, providing rehabilitation facilities to the victims and providing rescue operations to relieve individuals’ fallen prey to this form of social evil.
The objectives of the scheme are –
· Preventing the trafficking of women and children for forms of commercial and sexual exploitation through involvement and mobilization of local communities and generating awareness against the social stigma through the organization of workshops and campaigns and various events.
· To facilitate the process of rescuing the victims of the exploitation and victimization and providing them with rehabilitation services.
· Providing basic amenities of food, shelter and formal education and training to victims along with proper medical facilities.
· To facilitate the incorporation of victims into the main stream society.
· To facilitate the sending back of cross-border victims into the country of their own origins.
· MAHILA E- HAAT.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development launched the “Mahila E-Haat” with the purpose of producing a direct online marketing platform providing technology for supporting various upcoming women entrepreneurs for the showcasing of their products and services. This is an initiative which was introduced by the Government of India to provide an effective podium for women to become independent business personalities fetching for their livelihood contributing to the national income.
Various other Women Empowerment Schemes launched the Government of India for the upliftment of the condition of women in the Indian society are as follows –
· Working women hostel.
· Rajiv Gandhi National Crèche Scheme for the Children of Working Mothers.
· SWADHAR ( A scheme for women in difficult circumstances)
· Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP)
· The Rajya Mahila Samman and Zilla Mahila Samman.
· Archived Maternity Benefit Programmes.
· Mahila police volunteers.
India which claims to be in the run for becoming a potential superpower in the upcoming years is still posed with archaic challenges regarding the upliftment of the women and children demands better government policies and programmes for securing a probable better future in the years to come.
BY- Uttaran Pal 4th sem RKMVERI
BY- Uttaran Pal 4th sem RKMVERI