(Says women form cornerstone of programmes initiated by CM Parkash Singh Badal)
Chandigarh, March 8 – Union food processing industry minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today said the positive increase in all women related indexes in Punjab in the national family health survey (2015-16) was a direct result of the pro-women schemes formulated by the SAD – BJP government during the last ten years.
“Women form the cornerstone of all programmes initiated by chief minister S Parkash Singh Badal and it is due to this emphasis that women have also assumed an important role in decision making in Punjab”, Mrs Badal said.
In a statement on woman’s day, the Union minister said the SAD-BJP government had encouraged women empowerment, gender equality and gender justice besides
social, economic and political empowerment of women. “This has been reflected by the national survey which has disclosed that the sex ratio in Punjab has improved from 882 females per 1000 males to 905 females. Besides this the survey records that Punjabi women have more say in decision making at home and have become more literate by recording a 13 per cent jump in literacy levels”, Mrs Badal said.
She said novel schemes initiated for women included free cycles provided under Mai Bhagovidya Scheme for girls from standard nine to twelve, “Shagun”of Rs 15,000 upon marriage of all under privileged girls, subsidy on loans taken by women besides education and financial assistance, scholarships, nutrition and self employment. “Schemes like aata daal have tackled the problem of malnourishment while superior education has seen Punjabi girls getting into the best of institutions”, she added.
Speaking about steps taken to ensure women safety, Badal said a women cadre had been constituted in the State police and 4,500 women had been recruited. She said special women patrolling teams had been constituted to accord top priority to women safety. She said for the first time ever 200 women had became Sub-Inspectors. “An IG rank officer had been deputed as state nodal officer for monitoring crimes against women”, she added.
Listing other achievements, Mrs Badal said the SAD- BJP government had established
Punjab State Commission for Women to protect rights of women and curb domestic violence. She said a State Commission for Protection of Child Rights for child development, empowerment and protection had also been established. She said besides this the government had given practical shape to women care by establishing 638 new Anganwari centres and 20 mini Anganwari centres.
Badal said various NGOs had also contributed to making women self reliant. Listing the achievements of Nanhi Chaan NGO which is promoted by her, the union minister said nearly 9,000 women had been taught sewing to make them self reliant. She said under this endeavour more than 4,000 women had also been given sewing machines to help them earn their livelihood. She also disclosed that Nanhi Chaan had also distributed a few lakh saplings as “boota parsad” as part of its endeavour to correct the environment imbalance.