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Empowerment Of Scheduled Caste Women/Girls

Status of Women in Punjab

    The condition of women varies from State to State across the country. Punjab State is acknowledged to be one of the States where women's status is not particularly low. The State is influenced by the preachings of Gurus and Saints, who had particularly stressed upon the equality of women and preached against the child marriages, female foeticide, sati pratha and illiteracy among the women. To empower the Schedule Caste girls/women in the State, various programmes are being implemented/initiated by the State Govt. to uplift their educational, social and economic status.

Educational Status

    At present, the State Govt. is implementing various schemes for the upliftment of educational status of women. Attendance scholarship to SC primary girl students is provided to encourage them to attend the schools regularly and to minimise the drop-out rate among them. Other schemes like Pre-matric scholarship, Post-matric scholarship, Grant to SC students studying in the medical/engineering colleges, Award to SC sports students, Hostel for SC boys/girls, New courses / Vocational training for SC students, Attendance scholarship to handicapped girl students in rural area, Mid Day Meal, Coaching for stenography, etc., are being implemented by the State Govt. Free books are also provided to SC girl students on the non plan side. With the result, literacy rate and drop out rate of SC girls have improved considerably. However, the drop out rate among SC girl as compared to SC boys is still higher upto 5th standard, whereas, the dropout rate of boys is higher than girls up to 10th standard. The detail is given below:

Economic Status

    The data regarding the economic status of SC women is not presently available in the State. However, the major chunk of SC women workers are engaged in agriculture as labourers and look after their livestock at their home and engaged as household workers. The State Govt. is implementing the programmes like training in typing/stenography, stitching, embroidery, fashion designing etc. for the economic development of SC women. Schemes like National Rural livelihood Mission, National Rural Employment Guarantee, etc., are also being implemented so that they can take-up self employment ventures independently. The priority is also given to the SC women under various beneficiary oriented economic development programmes such as 'Bank tie up loaning' programme and placing of funds at the disposal of DRDAs, etc being implemented with the assistance from the State Government and the Central Government.

Social Security

    In order to inculcate the sense of Social Security among the SC girls/women, the programmes like Mai Bhago Vidya Scheme, Empowerment of Women (Mahila Jagriti Yojna), Bebe Nanki Ladli Beti Kalyan Scheme, Shagun to SC girls/women/divorcee and daughters of widows, Financial assistance to widows and destitute women etc. are being implemented by the State Government.

    During 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), an outlay of Rs.4705.07 crore has been earmarked out of total SCSP size for the socio economic development of SC women/girls against which an expenditure of Rs. 371.58 crore and 392.89 crore has been incurred during 2012-13 and 2013-14, respectively. An outlay of Rs. 928.58 crore has been earmarked for this purpose for the year 2014-15. The detail of various schemes for the Empowerment of SC women/girls proposed to be implemented in the year 2014-15 is at Statement XII.