Women and Child Care in India: Necessity, Objectives, Important Development, Programmes!
According to Jawaharlal Nehru, the condition of a nation well reflected by looking at the status of its women. The country, in which higher attention has been paid towards women and Child care, becomes more developed than others.
The necessity of women and child care is due to the following reasons:
(i) Women shoulder a greater part of the household work and toil for longer hours.
(ii) Women are exposed to dangerous levels of indoor pollution from burning of biomass fuel.
(iii) Women are more influenced by environmental degradation than men.
(iv) Women have special problems with regard to water supply and sanitation.
(v) Children are more vulnerable toward environmental impacts and child labours are exposed to hazardous occupations.
Considering the above facts, the objective of women and child welfare is:
(i) To improve the social, economical, health and nutritional status of women.
(ii) To improve the physical, mental, intellectual, and nutritional status of children.
(iii) To safeguard the constitutional rights of women and children.
(iv) To create awareness regarding different women and child development programmes amongst the rural peoples.
Some important developmental programmes relating women and child welfare are discussed below:
(1) Support to Training-cum-Employment Programme (STEP):
The women are given training in sectors like agriculture, dairying, small animal husbandry, fisheries, khadi and village industries etc. and subsequently engaged.
(2) Women’s Development Corporation:
In 1986, Women’s Development Corporations are installed in the states. The objective the scheme is to identify women entrepreneurs, providing them with them with technical consultancy, arranging training facilities, favoring availability of credits, promoting marketing of products, strengthening women’s cooperatives etc.
(3) Socio-economic Programme:
Under this programme, financial assistance is provided by Central Social Welfare Board to different voluntary organisation for income generating activities, thereby providing service to needy women.
(4) Swa-Shakti Project:
Swa-Shakti Project is a centre sponsored project (sanctioned on 16th October 1998) having the following objectives:
(i) Establishment of self reliant women’s self-help group (SHQs).
(ii) Sensitising and strengthening the institutional capacity of support agencies to fulfill women’s need.
(iii) Establishing relation between SHQs and credit lending institutions.
(iv) Favoring Women’s access to resources for better life.
(5) Advocacy and Sensitisation:
Awareness should be created against constantly declining sex ratio, the growing incidence of female feticide, the prevalence of female infanticide and high rates of infant and maternal mortality. Steps should be taken to prevent the above issues from our society.
(6) Support through legislation:
To safeguard constitutional rights of women, there exist a number of legislations which include Equal Remuneration Act, Commission of Sati Act, Maternity Benefit Act, Immoral Traffic Act, Dowry Prevention Act etc. In April 1994, women are provided with one third reservation in the panchayats and local urban bodies, under 73rd Amendment to the constitution.
(7) National Commission for Women:
In 1992, National Commission for Women was constituted which protects constitutional and legal rights of women, recommends remedial measures, facilitates redressal of grievances, participates and advises the Government on all matters of policy affecting the welfare and development of women.
(8) National Institute of Public Cooperation and CM Development:
National Institute of Public Cooperation and CTM Development was established to develop and promote voluntary action in social development, take comprehensive view of child development and develop measures for coordination of government and voluntary action in social development.
The Department of Women and Child Development (under the Ministry of Human Resource Development) was established in 1985, to give impetus to holistic development of women and children.