The Department of Women and Child Development was set up in the year 1985 as a part of the Ministry of Human Resource Development to give the much needed impetus to the holistic development of women and children. With effect from 30.01.2006, the Department has been upgraded to a Ministry.
The broad mandate of the Ministry is to have holistic development of Women and Children. As a nodal Ministry for the advancement of women and children, the Ministry formulates plans, policies and programmes; enacts/ amends legislation, guides and coordinates the efforts of both governmental and non-governmental organisations working in the field of Women and Child Development. Besides, playing its nodal role, the Ministry implements certain innovative programmes for women and children. These programmes cover welfare and support services, training for employment and income generation, awareness generation and gender sensitization. These programmes play a supplementary and complementary role to the other general developmental programmes in the sectors of health, education, rural development etc. All these efforts are directed to ensure that women are empowered both economically and socially and thus become equal partners in national development along with men.
The Ministry has 6 autonomous organisations viz.
Working under its aegis, NIPCCD and RMK are societies registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. CSWB is a charitable company registered under section 25 of the Indian Companies Act, 1956. These organisations are fully funded by the Govt. of India and they assist the Department in its functions including implementation of some programmes/schemes. The National Commission for Women was constituted as a national apex statutory body in 1992 for protecting and safeguarding the rights of women. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights which is a national level apex statutory body constituted in the March 2007 for protecting and safe guarding the rights of children.
Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equity
The schemes implemented under the Ministry of Women and Child Development since the year 2014 are as under:
POSHAN Abhiyaan, launched on 8th March, 2018 aims to address malnutrition issues across the nation through components like ICT Application, Convergence, Community Mobilization, Behavioural Change & Jan Andolan, Capacity Building, Incentives and Awards, and Innovations.
Under Anganwadi Services, a package of six services is provided to Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers and to Children under the age of 6 years i.e.
Three of the six services, viz., Immunization, Health check-up and Referral Services are related to health and are provided through NRHM & Public Health Infrastructure.
Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) is a Centrally Sponsored Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme, for implementation across the country with effect from 01.01.2017. The maternity benefit under PMMVY is available to all Pregnant Women & Lactating Mothers (PW&LM), excluding PW&LM who are in regular employment with the Central Government or the State Governments or Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being in force, for first living child of family. Under the scheme Rs.5,000/- are provided to the eligible beneficiary in three installments during pregnancy and lactation in response to individual fulfilling certain nutrition and health seeking conditions. The eligible beneficiary also receives the remaining cash incentive as per approved norms towards maternity benefit under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) after institutional delivery so that on an average, a woman gets Rs.6,000/-.
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP)
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme was launched on 22nd January 2015 with an aim to address declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and related issues of empowerment of girls and women over a life cycle continuum. The objective of the scheme are, to prevent gender biased sex selective elimination, to ensure survival and protection of the girl child and to ensure education and participation of the girl child. The key elements of the scheme include nation-wide media and advocacy campaign and multi-sectoral intervention in selected districts.
One Stop Centre (OSC) and Universalization of Women Helplines(WHL):
Women Welfare Division is administering two schemes from Nirbhaya Fund namely One Stop Centre and Universalization of Women Helplines. The One Stop Centres (OSCs), popularly known as Sakhi Centres, aim to facilitate women affected by violence (including domestic violence) with a range of integrated services under one roof such as Police facilitation, medical aid, providing legal aid and legal counselling, psycho-social counselling, temporary shelter etc. The Women Helpline (WHL) Scheme provides 24 hours emergency and non-emergency response to women affected by violence, both in public and private spaces by linking them with appropriate authority such as Police, One Stop Centre, Hospital, Legal Services etc. WHL also supports women in distress with rescue van and counselling services in addition to providing information about women welfare schemes and programs across the country. Women can dial 181 short code to avail services from Women Helpline.
Child Protection Services (CPS):
The Ministry is implementing Child Protection Services Scheme under the Mission Vatsalya scheme (erstwhile Integrated Child Protection Scheme) since 2009-10 for supporting the children in difficult circumstances. Under the scheme institutional care is provided through Child Care Institutes (CCIs), as a rehabilitative measure. The programmes and activities in Homes inter-alia include age-appropriate education, access to vocational training, recreation, health care, counselling etc. Under the non-institutional care component, support is extended for adoption, foster care and sponsorship. Further CPS also provides for “After care” services after the age of 18 years to help sustain them during the transition from institutional to independent life. The primary responsibility of execution of the Act and implementation of Scheme rests with the States/UTs.
Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG):
Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG): is a Centrally-sponsored scheme which aims at providing nutritional support to out of school girls in the age group of 11-14 years for improving their health and nutritional status under the nutrition component on one hand and motivates them to go back to formal schooling, provides life skill training, accessing public services etc. under non-nutrition component on the other hand.
The Swadhar Greh Scheme is being implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for women who are victims of difficult circumstances in need of institutional support for rehabilitation so that they could lead their life with dignity.
The Ujjawala Scheme is being implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Prevention of trafficking and for Rescue, Rehabilitation, Re-integration and Repatriation of victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.
Working Women Hostel (WWH)
Working Women Hostel Scheme is implemented by the Government with the objective to provide safe and conveniently located accommodation for working women, with day care facility for their children, wherever possible, in urban, semi urban, or even rural areas where employment opportunity for women exist.
National Creche Scheme for the children of working mothers:
Ministry of Women and Child Development implements the National Crèche Scheme for the children of working mothers as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme through States/ UTs with effect from 01.01.2017 to provide day care facilities to children (age group of 6 months to 6 years) of working mothers. The Scheme provides an integrated package of the following services:
For effective implementation and improved delivery, presently in the XVth Finance Commission Cycle, the aforementioned schemes of the Ministry have been clubbed together into three verticals viz. Mission Poshan 2.0, Mission Shakti and Mission Vatsalya.
Mission Poshan 2.0
An Integrated Nutrition Support Programme to address the challenges of malnutrition in the country has brought 3 important programmes/schemes under its ambit, viz., Anganwadi Services, Scheme for Adolescent Girls and Poshan Abhiyaan.
It comprises of two sub-schemes ‘Sambal’ and ‘Samarthya’ for safety and security of women and empowerment of women respectively. The existing schemes of One Stop Centres (OSC), Women Helplines (181-WHL) and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) have been made part of Sambal sub- scheme; while the existing schemes of Ujjwala, Swadhar Greh and Working Women Hostel, National Creche Scheme and the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), have been subsumed in ‘Samarthya’.
Mission Vatsalya – recognizing children to be one of the supreme national assets, the Child Protection Scheme (CPS) has been strengthened for better outreach and protection for children in need and care in a mission mode.
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