first decade of the 21st century was, by any standard, a
turning point vis-a-vis women empowerment in India.
Bubbling with enthusiasm and self-confidence they are now
making their impressive presence felt in all the spheres,
even in the ones traditionally considered to be male
preserves. They are no longer nestled in the confines of
their homes. Just name any field and they are there.
this welcome change is, regrettably, more or less confined
to urban and urbanized areas. Their counterparts in rural
and far-off areas are still far from living a dignified
life. They face discrimination at every stage, taking a
backseat at home, especially in matters related to health,
nutrition and education. The situation prevails all over
the country. And Madhya Pradesh is no exception.
things are fast changing for the better in Madhya Pradesh
following effective interventions of the state government.
The well-contemplated measures taken over the years at the
initiative of the Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh
Chouhan are sure to secure women their rightful place in
for thinking out-of-box and fired with a passion to see
women live a dignified life and realize self worth he took
worth emulating steps in this direction, but not before
soliciting the views of women themselves by holding their
Panchayat at his official residence. The participants
shared their views on issues concerning their betterment.
After minute study and analysis of these suggestions and
views, he introduced a number of novel schemes to take
care of girls and women right from birth to different
crucial stages of her life.
from the beginning he ensured a more effective
implementation of the PNDT Act to put a firm check on sex
determination tests. A cash award has been instituted for
giving information of embryo sex determination test.
important role of education in empowerment of women cannot
be overemphasized. Realizing the need and significance of
girl education, the state government has taken
well-planned initiatives towards promoting girl education.
The scheme of providing free bicycles to schoolgirls has
been extended at the initiative of the Chief Minister Shri
Chouhan. The Scheme of providing bicycles to rural girls
getting admission in IX in some other village was
introduced in year 2005. The Chief Minister extended it to
provide the same facility to girls getting admission in VI
in other village. Free textbooks and uniforms are being
provided to girl students. Over 15 lakh girls have so far
received this facility. The stipend and scholarships for
girl students of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes
have been increased considerably.
this year, an amount of Rs. 400 is provided to the girls
of Ist to VIII standard for a pair of uniforms. As many as
200 Kasturba Balika residential schools are being
conducted for providing education up to secondary level to
girls from small localities and habitations. About 19
thousand 669 girls are studying in these schools. The
state government has doubled the number of seats in these
schools to hundred. Besides, residential and
non-residential bridge courses are being conducted for
girls who have been left behind in primary education. This
year six new Kasturbal schools have been set up.
a view to introducing innovations and building better
academic environment for girsl education workshops of
eminent experts and scholars were organized and their
recommendations have been accommodated in the action plan
for this. Under SSA this year 319 girls hostels and under
National Secondary Education Mission 201 girls hostels are
being opened this year.
order to encourage rural girls to pursue higher education
the state government had implemented a novel Gaon Ki Beti
scheme. At the initiative of the Chief Minister Shri
Chouhan now it has been extended to maximize the number of
beneficiaries. Under the scheme, earlier, a girl of every
village passing the XII examination in the first division
and scoring the highest marks in the XII examination was
given a scholarship of Rs. 500 to pursue higher education.
Now all the girls of villages passing the XII examination
in the first division are given this facility. The girls
pursuing technical and medical education get Rs. 750 per
month. Similarly, to encourage the urban girls of BPL
families for higher education a Pratibha Kiran Yojana has
been launched with a provision of scholarship for girls
passing the XII examination in the first division. The
amount of assistance for them has been increased from Rs.
3000 to Rs. 5000.
order to bring about a positive change in the social
attitude towards birth of a girl child he came out with a
well conceived Ladali Laxami Yojana. Under this, a
National Saving Certificate is purchased in the name of a
girl at the time of her birth. More importantly, it has
been connected to their education. On admission in the VI
the girl is given a cash amount of Rs. two thousand and on
admission in IX Rs. four thousand. When she clears X
examination and gets admission in XI she would get Rs.
7500 cash and Rs. two hundred per month to cover the
expenses on education of XI and XII classes. On attaining
the age of 21 years she would get Rs. 1 lakh 18 thousand
cash. Over seven lakh girls have already been covered
under this, by now widely popular, scheme
state government has taken special care of the health
problems of girls and women. In order to bring down the
maternal mortality rate (MMR) and infant mortality rate (IMR)
a Janani Suraksha Yojana has been introduced to promote
institutional deliveries. Under the scheme, Rs. 1400 is
given to a pregnant woman for delivery in a hospital. As a
result of this, now the percentage of institutional
deliveries has increased from 26 to 81 percent in the
state. The IMR has also come down from 80 to 70 percent
and MMR from 498 to 379 per lakh.
enhancing awareness about proper care of pregnant women
and nursing mothers and nutrition to them and children, a
number of innovative schemes have been introduced in
Anganwadis. These include Godbharai, Annaprashan, Janm
Diwas, Balika Suraksha Yojana and Matra Suraksha Card.
number of Anganwadi centres has been considerably
increased and the nutritious food policy has been
introduced in Anganwadis after 35 years. Instead of Dalia
now 20 dishes are served at Anganwadis according to the
local food habits. Malnutrition is also a major area of
concern addressed by the state government.
161 crore Tejaswimin Project has been implemented in six
districts for economic empowerment of rural women. Steps
have also been taken to provide institutionalized support
to women’s self-help groups. An MoU has been signed with
UN Women Organization for furthering women empowerment
efforts of the state governments in Jhabua and Sehore
state government is well aware that women can play an
effective role in matters concerning society if provided
opportunities. Taking a lead in the country Madhya Pradesh
government has given a 50 percent reservation to women in
panchayats and civic bodies and in recruitment of contract
schoolteachers. A thirty percent quota has been fixed for
them in admission to medical education courses and ten
percent in police force.
“Sabala” scheme has been initiated in 15 districts
identified after a baseline survey for empowerment of
adolescent girls. An allocation of Rs. 40 crore has been
made for this in this year’s budget. The scheme aims at
improving the nutrition and general health level of girls
in 11-18 years age group as also upgrading their
professional skills. Kishori Balika Yojana is already
being implemented in remaining 35 districts for this
ensure women the full benefit of schemes and programmes
for them the gender budget, which was introduced in
various departments. The interests of Anganwadi workers
and assistants have been safeguarded. Fifty percent posts
of contract Surveyors have been reserved for Anganwadi
State Policy for Women is being implemented in right
earnest for educational, social, political and economic
development of women in the state.
effectively curb domestic violence against women, Usha
Kiran scheme is being implemented efficiently. So far, out
of 17 thousand cases registered, 8 thousand 300 have been
disposed off. These include 6 thousand 657 cases disposed
off through family counselling centres and 1705 through
courts. Besides, in 375 cases women have been provided
shelters. Under the scheme a 24-hour helpline facility has
also been made available for women.
would thus see that an enabling atmosphere has been
created in Madhya Pradesh for the women to keep pace with
the times, thereby contributing significantly to the
progress of the state and the nation at the same time
realizing their self-worth.