Department Of Women’s And Child Development Up, The Department of Social welfare, women and Child Development can look back at the achievements of the last 5 years in the areas of nutrition, care for the physically challenged and empowerment of women. Our campaign against malnutrition among children between the ages of 0 to 6 year has reached a new high with the universalisation of the ICDS program. All children irrespective of their caste, creed and colour are benefited by this scheme which covers pregnant and lactating mothers as well. This is an important step in ensuring that the child of the poorest family in the State is ensured of adequate supplementary nutrition when it is most needed for his or her overall mental and physical well-being.
In the area of the care of the physically challenged, one singular achievement has been the introduction of the Vivekananda Nisshakt Swawlamban Protsahan Yojana, whereby every physically challenged person above the age of 5 years is given a monthly stipend of 400 rupees. In all it is estimated that the State has a physically challenged population of around 3% of the total population. Besides this, a number of initiatives have been made to build and commission blind schools in several districts.
One notable achievement during the last plan period was the synergy developed between the Departments of Health and Family Welfare and the Social Welfare Department which has given a considerable boost to the success of routine immunization in the Anganwadi Centers to children and mothers. This synergy is to be kept intact in the coming years as well.
Empowerment of women and the care of the girl child also engaged the attention of the Department during the 11th Plan Period and the thrust in this area is proposed to be continued in the 12th Plan period as well. The prevention of sexual harassment at the workplace needs special mention rescue and rehabilitation of adolescent girls who migrate from the rural heartland of the State to metropolitan cities on the promise of jobs but are later sexually and physically abused. The Department is committed that such vulnerable sections are protected; their problems monitored with adequate safety net and rehabilitation schemes as the Department has spearheaded awareness campaign in all Government offices and the educational institutes.
The Department is now geared to meet the challenges of the 12th Five Year Plan with renewed commitment to our set goals and new approaches, to match the changes that are emerging in the society due to accelerated economic growth. With the economy growing at a rate of 8% and above, the outlook is bright. But along with accelerated economic growth there are also certain negative trends that we have to watch out for. The 12th Plan speaks of inclusive growth wherein the fruits of development and growth are equitably distributed among all sections of society. We must therefore ensure that the underprivileged and the differently enabled persons are not left out or marginalized. We must also ensure gender equity and protection of women at the workplace as more and more women go out of their homes and engages in productive economic activity. Involvement of the non-Governmental agencies and the private sector needs to be encouraged to social commitments so that a strong partnership is built between Government on the one hand and the private sector on the other.
It has been the constant Endeavour of Social Welfare Department to provide frame work for assigning priority to different needs of the children, women, disabled, older persons for their holistic development.
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