Women and child empowerment is important for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development of any country and state and this has always been a priority for the present state government also. The Government has also taken various steps to ensure empowerment of women through their social, educational, economic and political uplifting through various schematic interventions. While the schemes implemented by the State Government like Beti Hai Anmol, Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojna, Mukhyamantri Shagun Yojna, Vidhwa Punarvivah Yojna, Nari Seva Sadan, Swavlamban Yojna, Grihini Suvidha Yojna etc. ensures girl-friendly environment especially for vulnerable sections of society. These schemes have also ensured adequate facilities to women of the state and are proving to be a boon in fulfilling their special requirements. The government has not only started many welfare schemes and programs but has also worked with constant commitment to make these schemes a reality. Now the government is working continuously with the aim of promoting uniformity, for good upbringing of girl child, providing them a safe environment, an accessible and trustworthy surroundings which is free from all kinds of discrimination, promoting gender equality and child centric laws have always been the one of the priorities of the government.
The ‘Nari Ko Naman’ program started by the government is also proving to be a positive initiative towards women empowerment. Under this program, 50 percent concession is being provided to all women in the buses of Himachal Road Transport Corporation. The scheme has provided relief to about 1.25 lakh women traveling in the buses of the corporation every day and about Rs. 60 crore will be spent annually on this scheme. Apart from this Mukhyamantri Grihini Suvidha Yojana launched by the Himachal Pradesh government is proving effective in providing facilities to poor families and women. Under this scheme the government is providing free gas connections, stoves and cylinders to the eligible women. Due to successful implementation of this scheme, Himachal became the first fully LPG enabled and kitchen smoke Free State in the country in December 2019. In the last five years an amount of Rs. 134 crore was spent for providing free gas connection and cylinder to 3.35 Lakh women. Now, instead of two refills the government is providing three free refills to these women. To change the mindset towards girls, enhancing the age of marriage and making girls empowered and self-reliant the government has started Beti Hai Anmol Yojna. Under this scheme, an amount of 21 thousand is deposited in the bank or post office on the birth of baby girl in below poverty line families, which can be withdrawn by the girl on attaining the age of 18 years.
The benefit of this scheme can be availed up to two girl children only. During the last five years the government has benefitted about 21 thousand girls by spending Rs. 40.89 crore under Beti Hai Anmol Yojna. This scheme is helping in eradicating discrimination with girls. It is also proving beneficial in bringing awareness among people about having girls in the society. This scheme has helped a lot in improving the child sex ratio in the state. There is also a provision of scholarships for the girl child under this scheme. This scholarship lessens the pressure of girl’s education on the family. During the last five years the government had provided scholarships to 11,6490 girls. Apart from this, about Rs. 39.29 crore have been provided under Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojna, for the marriage of nine thousand girls whose fathers were either not alive or were suffering from any serious disease and unable to earn their livelihood. The government is also providing financial assistance to the girls belonging to BPL families under Mukhyamantri Shagun Yojna. Under this scheme. The eligible beneficiaries have been given Rs. 31 thousand as shagun at the time of marriage. About seven thousand girls have been benefitted under this scheme by spending Rs. 20.54 crore. The government is also motivating the remarriage of widows and has started Vidhwa Punarvivah Yojna in the state. Under this scheme an amount of Rs. 50,000 is being provided to the women at the time of remarriage. So far, an amount of Rs 2.24 crore has been provided to 448 widows for remarriage.
The government is also helping women living below the poverty line (BPL) whose annual income is below Rs. 50 thousand. An annual financial help of Rs. Six thousand is provided to these women for the upbringing of two children under Mother Teresa Asahay Matri Sambal Yojna. In last five years about 99,260 women have been benefitted by spending Rs. 39.39 crore under the scheme. The State government has also opened a Nari Seva Sadan at Mashobra for the helpless, widowed and destitute women. Here inmates are provided free food, accommodation, medical facilities etc. Rehabilitation assistance of Rs. 25 thousand is also given to the women on leaving the Seva Sadan. If any inmate gets married, then a financial assistance of Rs. 51 thousand is provided to her. The present government has provided financial assistance of Rs 2.36 crore to 176 women. Apart from this, various other schemes are also being implemented by the state government to make women self-reliant and empowered. The government is also making all out efforts to implement these schemes with strict monitoring and take these schemes to the eligible beneficiaries. The government is continuously moving towards the upliftment of women, which is a sign of a bright future, inclusive and sustainable development of women and girl child empowerment. Now the positive results of the efforts made by the government are visible on the ground and these schemes are proving boon for the girls and women’s of every section of society.