When we think about the early times, a time not more than five decades ago, we can clearly recall those days, when the status of Indian women was considered inferior to men in the practical life. Though, they are being preached in the name of Saraswati, Durga, Parvati, Kali and many other Goddess since ages, yet they were ignored, kept in shadows and isolated when it came to taking major decision related to the family. This was the kind of situation for women in India. But, the scenario is slowly changing in recent years. In contemporary times, women are breaking the trend and coming out of the shadows in an all-powerful avatar, and we can see a slow and steady rise of women in all fields of importance. Women nowadays have completely transformed, especially the urban women; from a mere homemaker they have now advanced into great personalities, leaders and icons. They are now competing in the world while handling responsibilities without fear. Yet, this scenario is not exactly the same for women from rural areas. The women in rural backgrounds still have to struggle a lot in terms of their urban counterparts. Not that the rural women are backward or weaker in any aspects, but the change and transformation that the urban women see are definitely a little slower to the rural society, and this is a major roadblock in the current era. However, to deal with such roadblocks, and as a way of encouraging women to achieve their dreams, the State Government of India are coming up with several schemes and policies, which all women need to be aware of. Let’s have a look at those states who are providing the best schemes and policies for women in respect of their empowerment.

Arunachal Pradesh - It is the women who occupy the dominant role in the social-economic of tribals. Women in Arunachal have been playing a major role in agriculture, looking after live stocks and collection of fuelwood, vegetables. Realizing the importance of women and their problems, Government of Arunachal Pradesh aims to improve the status of women and to enquire unfair practices affecting women. Various schemes have been implemented for the propagation to empower women and achieve greater heights of success.

  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: The scheme provides subsidy on LPG connections to the Below Poverty Line as a measure of relief for women who toil for firewood every day.
  • Beti Bachao, Beti padhao is a campaign that aims to generate awareness and improve the efficiency of welfare services intended for girls in education and health sector.
  • CM VIDYA Scheme: Under the scheme, Rs. 10000 will be deposited in the girl student’s account that passes Class V.
  • The Girl Hygiene scheme provides sanitary napkins to adolescent girl students.
  • Dulari Kanya Yojana: A fixed deposit of Rs. 20,000 for each institutional delivery of a girl child, which will be used to fund her higher studies on attaining the age of 18 years.

 

Gujarat - Gujarat as a state is famous for its traditional clothing, food and natural landscape. Asiatic lions, Rann of Kutch (White Desert), colourful handicrafts, festival and culture are some of the things that make Gujarat famous. Alongside, the state is also renowned for women empowerment.

  • Ghardivda Bankable Finance Scheme - The scheme primarily aims at economic upliftment of women living below the poverty line. The scheme is being implemented from the year 1996. Women whose annual income is Rs. 36,000/- are considered eligible under the scheme. Qualified women are provided loan amount up to Rs. 50,000/- through Nationalized Banks.
  • General Training - The Scheme primarily aims at providing skill based training to needy women either for traditional or non-traditional economic activity. Women living below poverty line between the age of 18 to 35 years are considered eligible. Women are trained in the fields of Computer, soft toys, Embroidery, patch work, ready-made garments, Electric Appliances repairing, motor driving etc. Even new trades are entered every year after studying training needs.
  • Vocational training to women in unfavorable circumstances - To impart vocational training to the women in unfavorable circumstances a provision of Rs. 300 lacs has been made in the budget of year 2013-14. The trades like Dress Making, Block Printing, Electrical appliances repairing, Mehndi designing, Embroidery and basic computer training are the popular trades. Total 6000 beneficiaries are trained every year.
  • Mahila Sashaktikaran Kendra - It is envisaged that proper venue for training, conferences, seminars, Exhibition-cum-Sale, women facilitation centers, etc. can be provided at this Center.

Himachal Pradesh - Women in Himachal are employed in vocational jobs; education of females in rural areas has taken an edge in Himachal Pradesh. The Himachal government is giving a serious concern towards the upliftment of the women in the society like education, funds to widows and poor women, strict punishments against female infanticide etc. The result of all these initiatives by Himachal government towards growth of women in society has made Himachal to top the list among all the other states in terms of empowerment of women

  • Beti Hai Anmol Yojana - This scheme is for girls of BPL families up to two girl children. After their birth, the department deposits Rs. 10,000 per girl child in the post office/ Bank account. These girls get scholarship ranging from Rs. 300 to Rs.1200 from first to 12th Class for their books/dresses.
  • Mukhya Mantri Kanyadan Yojana - In this scheme girls who are orphan or whose father is physically/Mentally incapacitated or bed ridden can get Rs. 25,000 grant for their marriage if their parents annual income is not more than Rs. 35,000 per annum.
  • Self-Employment Assistance for women - In this scheme women are granted Rs. 2500 for establishing any project or venture who have annual income not more than 35,000 per annum.
  • State Home For women - State home is meant for housing destitute, widow and the women who are in moral danger. Department is running one state home at Mashobra in Shimla Distt. These inmates get free residence and free diet. For their rehabilitation they get various skill trainings in the state home so that after leaving the state home they can earn and be rehabilitated. After leaving the state home department provides grant of Rs. 20,000 per inmates for her rehabilitation.

Kerala - The state has always been known for its top level literacy rate. Apart from that, Kerala has been quietly serving as an example that a government can indeed successfully empower women, both economically and socially.

  • Self-employment schemes - Schemes of Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation - Loans are granted to economically weaker women of general/ forward communities for self-employment. Under this scheme, women belonging to the backward classes are provided with the loan for opening or developing a venture. New Swarnima Scheme is special scheme for women belonging to backward classes and who are living below double the poverty line. The objective of the scheme is to develop self-reliance amongst women beneficiaries of the target groups by facilitating easy credit facilities for setting up viable economic activities. Towards the fulfillment of the overall objectives of empowerment and development of Backward Classes in the country, KSBCDC promises financial assistance on loan basis to eligible beneficiaries. The concept of micro finance for self-employment loans involves financing for small-scale enterprises either individually or in groups. This scheme is carried out through legally registered NGO/SHGs which consist of up to 20 persons. The group should be homogenous with about 75 percent of the members belonging to minority community.
  • Laghu Vyavasaya Yojana (LVY) The loan shall be granted to women members of scheduled classes as notified by the central government and state government from time to time. The family income of the applicant must be below Rs. 98,000 per annum in rural areas and Rs. 1,20,000 per annum in urban areas.
  • Education Assistance to Women Headed Families - Finacial Assistance to the Education of Children.
  • Not just that but the Government also has Mangalya Scheme, Abhayakiranam, Sahayahastam and much more schemes for widow women.

 

Odisha - The Government of Odisha in India has come up with various programs and schemes (yojana) from time to time for the people and their advancement.

  • Odisha Free Smartphone Yojana for Women Farmers - Provide smartphones for women farmers to get useful agriculture information.
  • Mukhyamantri Mahila Sashaktikaran Yojana - In this scheme, government aims to provide financial assistance for women’s self-help groups.
  • Apart from that, the Government has formulated thousands of women self-help groups and providing them loan through Bank linkage with sufficient subsidy to make them financially sound through different schemes such as Mission Shakti, WEP (women’s Economic Programme) and swayamsiddha etc (by different Departments such as Department of Panchayati Raj and Department of Women and Child Welfare); also providing seasonal training for their capacity building, marketing support and more.

Here is a statement that is a dire truth; “All nations have attained greatness by paying proper respect to women. That country and that nation which do not respect women have never become great, nor will ever be in the future” said Swami Vivekananda. We as a society don’t need to respect women because we have to, but we should do that because of their hard work for making an income as a wife, caring & supporting as a mother and a faithful serving daughter. Let us propagate this message of empowerment so that we as a whole, achieve greater heights of success in every field.