The Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for expansion of the schemes of WCD Ministry under umbrella Scheme ‘Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women’ for a period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
The cabinet also approved a new scheme called ‘Mahila Shakti Kendra', which will empower rural women through community participation to create an environment in which they realise their full potential. The cabinet has also approved expansion under BetiBachaoBetiPadhao based on the successful implementation in 161 districts.
The total cost incurred during the expansion period will be Rs 3,636.85 crore with the Centre’s share being around Rs 3,084.96 crore.
The approved sub-schemes are all social sector welfare schemes, the main focus of which are care, protection and development of women.
The schemes will also aim at improving the declining Child Sex Ratio, ensuring survival and protection of the girl child, ensuring her education and empowering her to fulfil her potential.
It will provide an interface for rural women to approach the government for availing their entitlements and for empowering them through training and capacity building.
Key activities of the Umbrella Scheme
• The new scheme "Mahila Shakti Kendra (MSK)" is pictured to work at various levels.
• While, National level (domain based knowledge support) and State level (State Resource Centre for Women) structures will provide technical support to the respective government on issues related to women, the District and Block level Centres will provide support to MSK and also give a foothold to BBBP in 640 districts to be covered in a phased manner.
• Community engagement through Student Volunteers is envisioned in 115 most backward districts as part of the MSK Block level initiatives.
• These students will serve as "agents of change" and play an instrumental role in raising awareness regarding various important government schemes/ programmes as well as social issues.
• More than 3 lakh student volunteers from local colleges will be engaged in this process. NSS/NCC cadre students will also be able to volunteer and contribute to nation building.
• The outcome-based activities of student volunteers will be monitored through a web-based system.
• On completion, certificates for community service will be displayed on the national portal for verification and can also be used as resource /asset for the participating students in future.
Further, to provide full support to women affected by violence, One Stop Centres (OSCs) will be established in 150 additional districts during the period. These one-stop Centres will be linked with women helpline and will provide 24-hour emergency and non-emergency response to women affected by violence both in public and private space across the country.
Besides this, the government would also launch a unique initiative involving engagement of Mahila Police Volunteers (MPVs) on a voluntary basis in States/UTs to create public-police interface, which will be expanded to 65 districts covering all States /UTs.
One common Task Force shall be created at National, State and district level for planning, reviewing and monitoring all the sub-schemes under this Umbrella, with the objective of ensuring convergence of action and cost efficiency.