Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana to become fully operational this year: WCD Minister
In a path breaking initiative to empower women, the Minister of Women & Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi inaugurated an online portal NARI in New Delhi today. Developed by the Ministry of Women & Child Development, the portal will provide women citizens with easy access to information on government schemes and initiatives for women. Further to provide a platform for NGOs and Civil Societies to interact with the Ministry of Women & Child Development, e-Samvad portal has also been developed which was inaugurated by the WCD Minister today. The Minister of State for Women & Child Development, Dr. Virendra Kumar was also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that for the first time ever since Independence, women of the country will be able to access information about benefits being provided to them by the Government. The portal contains information about schemes being run by both Central as well as the States Governments. The WCD Minister also gave an overview of the agenda of the WCD Ministry in the current year 2018. The Minister said that the new National Nutrition Mission will be launched in January, 2018 and will be operationalized in 315 districts across the country. About 50.7 lakhs women will be given Conditional Cash Transfer under maternity benefit scheme Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) this year, the Minister explained. The bill on Trafficking, which has been referred to the GOM, will be finalised and presented in the Parliament in the Budget Session. Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that the deadline mandated by the Supreme Court for registration of Child Care Institutions expired on 31.12.2017. There will be very sharp focus on linking of the Child Care Institutions to the adoption system in 2018.
Giving details about the panic button scheme for women in distress, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that the user trials of panic button, backed with a full real time emergency response system, will begin in Uttar Pradesh from 26th January this year. The Childline will be expanded to 500 Cities (currently in 412 cities) and Railway Childline will be expanded to 88 Railway stations (currently in 33) by March, 2018. 150 new One Stop Centres will be added in 2018 beyond 165 centres which are operating. The inter-ministerial authority on issues related to NRI marriages has already been constituted. The Law Ministry is already examining legislative amendments pertaining to this issue which will be taken up in 2018, WCD Minister explained.
The Government – both Central and State – has implemented a number of schemes & legislations for women to provide them equal rights, economic opportunities, social support, legal aid, housing etc. However, there is often a lack of awareness of these provisions and difficulties in accessing their benefits. For example, many are unaware that One Stop Centres are available in 168 districts for women in difficult circumstances, PM Awas Yojana gives priority to registraton of homes in the name of women and many State Governments offer financial support for the education of girl children. However, information related to women centric schemes/legislations are all scattered on different websites/portals.
In order to make this information more easily accessible in one place, the NARI portal summarizes over 350 government schemes and other important information for the benefit of women, with more being added everyday. It provides links to the Ministries, Departments and autonomous bodies offering these schemes as well as easy access to online applications and grievance redressal.
NARI will provide information to women on issues affecting their lives. There are tips on good nutrition, suggestions for health check ups, information on major diseases, tips for job search and interview, investment and savings advice, information on crimes and against women and reporting procedures, contacts of legal aid cells, simplified adoption procedures and much more. It will endow women with the power of information to build their life skills and facilitates them in taking full advantage of the services provided by the Government for them.
Through e-Samvad portal, NGOs and civil society can provide their feedback, suggestions, put up grievances, share best practices etc. Senior Officers within MWCD will be able to view the inputs/suggestions received for their concerned subject areas and appropriately respond to NGOs. This will help in formulation of effective policies and measures for welfare of women and children.
Empowerment and welfare of women and children is top priority of the government, NARI and e-Samvad portals are initiatives in this direction.