The Centre has urged the State Governments to expedite and effectively implement Economic and Social Empowerment Schemes for the Women. Important legislations on women should be closely monitored and efforts should be made for improvement in the schemes, if required. Inaugurating the State Ministers’ meet to review women and child development programmes here today, Union Minister for Women & Child Development, Smt. Smt.Krishna Tirath said that women and children issues are being given top priority by the Government. Several programmes for women are being implemented to address their varied needs, schemes to provide skill development for income generation, micro-credit and awareness generation and child protection is on the top of the agenda of the Government. ***
Highlighting the role of women in society, Smt.Krishna Tirath said that protection of women from domestic violence is very important to ensure her contribution to the progress of the nation. The Prevention from Domestic Violence Act should be implemented with the same intention and spirit in which it was enacted. Expressing concern over declining female sex ratio, she said it is leading to imbalance feature. Hence there is need for strict and effective implementation of PNDT Act. The high rate of infant mortality in the country needs to be attended with top most priority and practices for safe delivery and medical care of infants should be promoted, she added.
Stressing the need of nutrition support for the children, Smt. Krishna Tirath said that the Ministry is in the process of launching new schemes like Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and Conditional Maternity benefit Scheme for women. The Schemes are named as ‘Sabla’ and ‘Indira Gandhi Matratava Sehyog Yojana’ respectively. The Sabla is aimed at empowering adolescent girls alongwith improvement in the nutritional and health status and upgrading various skills like home skills, life skills and vocational skills. While ‘Conditional Maternity Benefit Scheme’ is to support pregnant women belonging to poor and economically weaker sections of the society.
Smt. Tirath said that efforts are being made to reach rural women through Swayamsiddha and Rashtriya Mahila Kosh. Formation of Self Help Groups under Swayamsiddha and providing Credit facilities to rural women folk under Rashtriya Mahila Kosh helps in our aim of economic empowerment of women. Efforts are also being made to set up National Mission for Empowerment of Women.
Urging States to expedite universalisation of ‘Integrated Child Development Services’ (ICDS), the Minister said the Centre has expanded the scheme by bringing the number of Anganwadis to 14 lakhs with enhanced budget, increased honoraria for Anganwadi workers and improved financial norms. The States should ensure good quality hot cooked meals through the scheme to improve nutritional status of the children, she added.
Ministry of WCD has recently launched a new centrally sponsored scheme Integrated Child Protection Scheme with the objective of providing safe and secure environment to the children who are in need of care and protection. The Scheme for “Street Children”, “Working Children” and “Shishu Greh” have been merged with the new Scheme to serve the under privileged children in a more focused manner. State Governments of Orissa, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh Nagaland and Madhya Pradesh have signed Memorandum of Understand under the Scheme. The Minister requested the other States to sign the MOU expeditiously and set up the State Commissions for Protection of Child.
The day long meeting is being attended by the Minister of Incharge of Women & Child Development from the States, Senior Officials of various Central ministries, National Women’s Commission, Child Rights Commission and other bodies related with the Women & Child Development programmes.