Women, children, minorities, and differently-abled persons constitute the vulnerable section of any society. In the state of Himachal, the figures say that out of its total population of 68, 64,602 it constitutes 33,82,729 females which is 49.27% showing quite a stable and better sex ratio overall than the national average. The number of differently-abled persons in Himachal according to 2011 census data are 155,316 which are 2.27% of the total population. For Himachal to stand out as a welfare state it needs to cater to each section of society with suitable schemes and policies.
Here are schemes launched by the state of Himachal for its social sector particularly women, children, and differently-abled.
Number of institutions for child and women welfare in Himachal Pradesh. (As on march 2020):
|Bal-balika ashram-cum children home run by the voluntary organization||18||19||19||29||29|
|Bal-balika ashram-cum-children home run by the social justice and empowerment dpt.||9||9||9||9||9|
|Observation home-cum-special home-place of safety run by SJ&E dpt.||2||1||1||2||2|
|NGOs run home shelters||–||–||–||4||3|
|State home run by (SJ&E) dpt.||1||1||1||1||1|
|Working women hostels||14||14||14||14||14|
Source: directorate of women and child development department, HP.
WOMEN WELFARE SCHEMES IN HIMACHAL PRADESH
WIDOW/ DESERTED/ EKAL NARI PENSION: financial incentive of 1000/ rupees per month will be provided to females above 45 years whose annual income is less than 35000 per year.
EK BUTA BETI KE NAAM: to sensitize people about the importance of daughter and forest conservation, govt. launched the scheme in 2019-20. Upon the birth of a girl-child anywhere in the State, the Forest Department would gift robust and healthy tall plants (Saplings) along with a “kit” & instructions pamphlet to the family.
INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL WIDOW PENSION: Widows between the age group 40 to 79 years who belong to BPL will be provided with the financial aid of 1200/month.
WOMEN STATE HOME MASHOBRA: The main purpose of the scheme is to provide free shelter, food, clothing, education, health and medicines, counselling, and vocational training to the young girls, widows, deserted, destitute, and women who are physically and sexually abused. At present 21 inmates and 2 children, inmates are living in State Home, Mashobra. For rehabilitation of such women after leaving State Home, financial assistance up to ` 25,000 per woman is provided. In the case of marriage financial assistance of `51,000 is also provided to women.
ONE-STOP CENTER: One Stop Centre is a Central Sponsored Scheme. The main objectives of the scheme are to provide integrated support and assistance to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces under one roof; and to facilitate immediate, emergency and non-emergency access to a range of services including medical, legal, psychological, and counseling support. Presently one “One Stop Centre” has been set up Head Quarter of each District in Himachal Pradesh.
MAHILA SHAKTI KENDRA: The Scheme provides an interface for rural women to approach the Government for availing their entitlements and for empowering them through awareness generation, training, and capacity building. Students volunteers and serve as “agents of change”. The scheme is operational in all districts.
WIDOW REMARRIAGE SCHEME: The main objective of the scheme is to help in the rehabilitation of widows after remarriage, 50,000 is given to couples under this scheme.
MOTHER TERESA ASAHAY MATRI SAMBAL YOJANA: The aim of this scheme is to provide assistance of `6,000 per child per annum to the destitute women belonging to the BPL for the maintenance of their children till they attain the age of 18 years and whose family income does not exceed `35,000.
VISHESH MAHILA UTTHAN YOJANA: The scheme has been formulated for the rehabilitation of physically and sexually abused women through Technical and Vocational Training.
MUKHYA MANTRI EK BIGHA SCHEME: Any woman of a registered SHG with NRLM can avail the benefit of this scheme up to rupees 1.00 lakh if she holds MNREGA job card.
SELF EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE FOR WOMEN: under this scheme rupees 5000 are provided to women having annual income less than 35,000 for carrying income-generating activities.
PRADHAN MANTRI MATRU VANDANA YOJANA: This scheme provides `5,000 incentives to pregnant women and lactating mothers in three instalments.
SASHAKT MAHILA YOJANA: This scheme covers 11-45 years females and focus on the promotion of socio-economic empowerment of rural women by creating awareness about their right and facilitating institutional support for enabling them to realize their rights and develop/utilize their full potential. One-time seed money of ` 35,000 per SHG per development block is granted for income-generating activities to make them self reliant and award money of ` 5,000 per girl child is granted to 5 topper girls each from 10th and 12th board examination basis from each district.
SOCIAL WELFARE SCHEMES FOR CHILDREN IN HP
CHILD PROTECTION SCHEME: The State have 43 Child Care Institutions, comprising of 37 Children Homes, 2 Observation Home-cum-Special, Home-cum-Place of safety, 3 Open shelters and 1 Shishu Grih.
INTEGRATED CHILD DEVELOPMENT SERVICES: The department is providing Supplementary Nutrition, Nutrition and Health Education, Immunization, Health check-ups Referral Services and Non-Formal PreSchool Education on the basis of 90:10 ratio by Centre and State.
SUPPLEMENTARY NUTRITION PROGRAMME: Supplementary nutrition is provided in Anganwari Centres to children, pregnant/ lactating mothers and BPL adolescent girls on 90:10 ratios by Centre and State.
BETI BACHAO BETI PADHAO SCHEME: This is implemented in Kangra, Hamirpur Una, Solan, Sirmour, Shimla, Bilaspur, and Mandi districts of Himachal Pradesh with the objective of preventing gender-biased sex selective elimination.
BETI HAI ANMOL YOJANA: Under this scheme Post Birth Grant of `12,000 is provided to two girls only belonging to BPL families and scholarships are provided from 1st class to graduation level ranging from ` 450 to ` 5,000 for their education.
SCHEMES FOR ADOLESCENT GIRL: This aims to support out-of-school adolescent girls of 11-14 years of age to back to formal schooling or bridge learning, improving their nutritional and health status on the basis of 90:10 between centre and state govt.
BAL-BALIKA SURKSHA YOJANA AND FOSTER CARE PROGRAMME: An amount of 2000/ child per month is sanctioned in favor of foster parents for maintenance of children and 500/per child per month are sanctioned on account of additional assistance from the state.
MUKHYMANTRI BAL UDHAR YOJANA: Financial assistance is provided to children after leaving Child Care Institutions for pursuing Higher/professional education.
SOCIAL WELFARE SCHEMES FOR DIFFERENTLY-ABLED PERSONS IN HP
SPECIAL ABILITY RELIEF ALLOWANCE: Those who are having 40 per cent of special ability earns less than 35000 per annum / those having special ability above 70 per cent. 1000/1500 rupees per month aid is being provided by the govt.
INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL SPECIALLY-ABLED PENSION: financial aid of rupees 1500 per month is being provided to the specially-abled person above 18 to 79 years having 80% of special disability and belong to BPL.
SPECIALLY-ABLED SCHOLARSHIP: to all categories children of having the special ability of 40%. Scholarship has been given from rupees 625 to rupees 3750 per month.
MARRIAGE GRANT TO INDIVIDUALS MARRYING WITH SPECIALLY-ABLED PERSONS: to encourage able bodied young men or girls to marry specially-abled of having 40-69% disability are given rupees 25,000 and above 70% disability are given rupees 50,000.
SELF EMPLOYMENT: Specially-abled persons of having disabilities of 40% and above are provided loans by the HP minorities finance and development corporation for setting up small ventures.
INSTITUTIONS OF CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS: two institutions at Dhalli and Sundernagar have been set up by the state for providing educational and vocational rehabilitation services to visually and hearing-impaired children.
SPECIAL ABILITY REHABILITATION CENTERS: two special ability rehabilitation centres are being run through DRDA Hamirpur and the Indian Red Cross Society, Dharamshala respectively.
MAJOR ISSUES AND CHALLENGES
IMPLEMENTATION: Implementation being the major challenge in making the scheme or govt policy a success needs to be addressed tactfully.
LACK OF RESEARCH ON STATISTICS: Most of the time a policy or scheme fails due to inadequate research done on statistical data.
LACK OF AWARENESS AMONG PEOPLE: Most of the times people are unaware of the policy launched and the benefits they could avail themselves through the schemes.
CORRUPTION: Corruption is one of the biggest challenges before govt. as funds allotted for various schemes are not reaching its target beneficiaries rather non-beneficiaries are availing the benefits of a specific target oriented scheme.
LACK OF GRASS ROOT PENETRATION: Sometimes a scheme does not reach its target beneficiary located in rural areas due to lack of awareness among those people and also loose intent of leaders to deliver the fruit of the scheme among people.
LACK OF BUDGET: Deficiency of funds is another cause of any scheme to not meeting its objective.
PILOT BASES: Any scheme or policy brought by govt needs to run on pilot bases in one or two districts or in panchayat first, to see its success rate. It gives the legislator scope of reconsideration or alteration in the scheme according to the dynamic of area and people.
MONITORING: Close monitoring should be done at each step to ensure the success of the scheme.
FAILURE OF PREVIOUS POLICY: Failure of previous policy should be treated as a model in forming a new scheme in order to what to follow or whatnot.
MUTUAL CONSENSUS: A policy passed by mutual consensus at legislation has better chances of becoming successful.
INFORMED CITIZENRY: Awareness generation among citizens pertaining to the benefits being provided by the govt. under various schemes. Also, citizens are accountable for not taking advantage of any benefit provided under a scheme targeting a specific section of society.
INCREASED BUDGET ALLOCATION: Each year improvement in the allocation of funds to the scheme should be increased two folds keeping in mind the widening of the population of beneficiaries each year.
PEOPLES PARTICIPATION: People participation is equally essential to ensure the success of a scheme.
USE OF ITC: Use of information, technology and communication is the need of the hour. It ensures transparency and accountability of the legislation and also ensures better penetration of the scheme among the masses.