This article provides the various schemes, initiatives and programs implemented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi under his regime to enable Women Empowerment in India.
This was launched on 7th March 2016 by the Ministry of Women & Child Development. This is an online platform designed with the objective of providing a web-based marketing platform to women entrepreneurs and NGO’s to sell their products directly to buyers. It is a chance for the women entrepreneurial community to leverage technology and display their products to the right buyers. It has at present over 17 lakh visitors. Women in business and NGOs from more than 20 states of India are registered here, showcasing their products/services. There are about 2000 products including clothing, fashion accessories, jewelry, decorative gift items, organic products, industrial products etc. More than 50 lakh women have benefitted directly and indirectly since its launch, including the 26000 Self Help Groups (SHGs) and NGOs.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was launched on May 1st, 2016 in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh with an objective to protect the health of women & children. This program ensures that the rural households are provided with LPG or clean cooking fuel so that women do not have to compromise their health in smoky kitchens or go to forests to collect firewood. This scheme so far has been able to provide more than 7 crore LPG connections to Below Poverty Line families with the support of ₹1600 per connection. This program has also resulted in additional employment of about 1 Lakh people and at the same time gives a business opportunity of over ₹10,000 crores to the Indian Industry.
Beti bachao beti padhao
To reduce the impact of child gender ratio, 918 girls:1000 boys in 2011, the GOI launched the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ program on 22nd January 2015. The program focuses on 3 major objectives:
- Prevent gender-biased gender-selective elimination
- Protect the girl child
- Ensure education and promote participation of the girl child
The program is run by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Women and Child Development, and Ministry of Human Resource Development. For implementation and monitoring, a “Task Force” is set-up at National, State, District, Gram Panchayat/Ward levels. It is expected that through this initiative, Child Gender Ratio will significantly improve in the country.
Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan
This was launched with an aim to reduce the maternity mortality rate. PMSMA aims to provide guaranteed, comprehensive and superior quality pregnancy care, free of cost to all pregnant women on the 9th of every month starting from the 3rd month of pregnancy. Besides the regular checkups, services like ultrasound, blood, and urine tests are also provided. All over India, there are over 13000 facilities providing PMSMA services. There are 5500 doctors registered to volunteer in the program.
Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra (MSK)
During Budget (2017-18), Narendra Modi approved a new scheme named, Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra (MSK) for 2017-18 up to 2019-20 to empower rural women. At the end of the second year, the initiative is to be evaluated to decide its continuation or expansion. The scheme’s objective is to provide an one-stop convergent support services for empowering rural women with various skill development opportunities, including employment, digital literacy, health, and nutrition.
Pradhan Mantri Matritva Vandana Yojana
Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana is a conditional cash transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating women. It was originally referred as Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY), implemented in 53 selected districts. In 2017, Narendra Modi declared that the scheme will cover all 640 districts in the country, and renamed it as Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY).
Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill
In August 2016, the Central Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval to amendments in the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961. The bill was passed in March 2017 where in the period of maternity leave was extended from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for employees in the private sector. This law also makes mandatory for every organization with 50 or more employees to provide creche facilities within a prescribed distance. The women employees will be allowed four visits to the creche in a day which will include her interval for rest.
Other initiatives for women empowerment
- Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna: To provide affordable and collateral free loan to start businesses
- Universal Scheme for Adolescent girls: To improve and promote awareness of nutritional, health and development status of adolescent girls.
- National Nutrition Mission or NMM or Poshan Abhiyaan: To achieve improvement in the nutritional status of Children from 0-6 years, Adolescent Girls, Pregnant Women, and Lactating Mothers in a time-bound manner during the next 3 years starting from 2017-18
- Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna: A small deposit scheme launched to promote the financial security of the girl child.
- Mission Indradhanush: Immunization of pregnant women