Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu from the very first day after taking oath as Chief Minister of the State had sent a loud and a clear message that the new Government will act as guardian and custodian of the lesser privileged children, destitute women and other vulnerable sections of the society. Despite the precarious financial health of the State, Chief Minister in his maiden Green Budget had ‘all in a bag for all’ particularly in the sector of social security.
The decision to adopt Orphans as the ‘Children of the State’ till the age of 27 has tight lipped the opposition vis-a-vis it has received accolades from various sections of society. A sum of Rs. 2233 crore was proposed in the budget for social security and the welfare of women, children and other weaker sections. The announcement of constructing an integrated residential complex to be known as ‘Adarsh Gram Sukh-Ashray Parisar’, for the senior citizens, children, specially-abled children and destitute women has shown the soft corner of the Chief Minister for the underprivileged and homeless. The Complex will have a capacity to house as many as 400 inmates. Yet going further ahead in this direction, the powers were delegated to the Gram Sabha to recommend all widows and Divyangjans (with 40-69 percent disability) for availing the benefits of pension, and also removed the income limit in all such cases.
This will benefit both the widows and around 9000 Divyangjans (Specially-abled) new beneficiaries under the ‘Rahat Bhatta Yojna’ by spending an additional amount of Rs. 12 crore. Besides, it was also announced to bring around 40 thousand new eligible beneficiaries under the Social Security Pension. The Rs.101 crore ‘Mukhya Mantri Sukh-Ashray Yojna’ for children in need of care, as orphans, semi-orphans and specially abled has gone a way ahead to adopt children and orphans upto 27 years of age as ‘Children of the State’ on the principle of ‘Sarkar hee Mata Sarkar hee Pita’. “I don’t want any such children be bereft of the ‘Sukh” (pleasure of being with their families) said he. The children under this scheme, apart from being taken on educational tours outside the state once in a year by air and would also be provided stay in three star hotels.
Since separated or single women face many challenges in life to cope up with. They face the issue of dwelling, gender discrimination, harassment etc. Sensing the deep sense of pain in such women, the Chief Minister in his budget announced ‘Mukhya Mantri Vidhwa Evam Ekal Nari Yojna’, with financial assistance of Rs. 1.5 lakh for construction of homes for the eligible widows and single women. This will benefit 7000 women, who will be provided assistance for construction of their house in 2023-24, besides providing facilities like electricity, water etc. Last but not the least, amongst many other sops announced for children, one is ‘Mukhya Mantri Vidyarthi Protsahan Yojna’ with an expenditure of Rs. 200 crore in fiscal year 2023-24 to provide financial assistance to the poor children who are unable to pursue higher and professional studies due to paucity of resources.