The Government has introduced a number of flagship programmes
to enhance employment and income opportunities for poor people with special
targets for women. Some of the key initiatives are as follows:
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee
Act ha s been enacted to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by
providing 100 days of assured employment to every household. It mandates
that at least 30 per cent beneficiaries are to be women.
The Sampoorna Grameen Swarozgar Yojna (SGSY) in rural
areas is a holistic livelihood programme focused on SHGs of households below
the poverty line. This is now subsumed under the National Rural Livelihood
The Sampoorna Grameen Swarozgar Yojna (SGSY) an
employment generation - programme implemented in urban areas earmarks 30 per
cent of labour opportunities for women. Under this, Urban Women Self Help
Programme (UWSP) stipulates a minimum of five women to form a Self Help
Group for setting up gainful group enterprise with bank linkage.
A subsidy of Rs.3.00 lakhs of 35% of the cost of the
project or Rs.60, 000/- per member of the group, whichever is less, is
released with the balance coming from bank loan and margin money. Revolving
fund assistance is also provided to Thrift & Credit Societies (T&CS) at the
rate of Rs.2, 000/- per member subject to a ceiling of Rs.25,000/- per T&CS.
The Self Help Groups (SHGs) – Bank linkage programme of
NABARD is aimed at financial inclusion by extending outreach to poor
households in rural areas, making credit services ava i la ble a t t h e ir
door st e p o n a su sta in a ble ba sis. Th e M icro E n te rp rise
Development Programme of NABARD is aimed at enhancing capacity of members of
SHGs through skill upgradation in farm and non-farm sector.
Mahila Samriddhi Yojana (MSY)/Mahila Kisan Yojana (MKY) :
National Scheduled Caste Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC)
introduced MSY in 2003-04 to provide loans upto Rs.25,000/- per unit at a
concessional unit rate of 4% per annum with a repayment period of three
years for SC women, which was enhanced to a loan ceiling of Rs.30,000/- from
2006-07. Similarly, NSFDC launched MKY with effect from 1.5.2008 to provide
term loans upto Rs.50, 000/- at 5% per annum interest rate to SC women for
income generating ventures in agriculture and allied activities.
The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) provides quality
health care for women, with provision for institutional deliveries to reduce
MMR and IMR. RCH-II is a comprehensive flagship programme under NRHM which
aims to reduce social and geographical disparities in access to, and
utilization of quality reproductive and child health services.
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (Education for All Campaign)
launched in 2001-02 is a National Programme for universalisation of
elementary education, which has a special focus on girls’ education and aims
to target the ‘hardest to reach’ girls through residential schools, mid day
meals and other incentives.
The National Literacy Mission or Saakshar Bharat Mission,
with its objective of extending educational options to those adults who have
no access to formal education, emphasizes on female literacy as a critical
instrument for women’s empowerment. The Mission aims to target 70 million
adults in the next five years, out of which 60 million will be women.