Empowerment Of Scheduled Caste Women/Girls

Status of Women in Punjab

    The status of women varies from State to State across the Country.Punjab State is acknowledged as one of the States where women’s status is quite satisfactory. The State is influenced by the preachings of Gurus and Saints, who had particularly stressed upon the equality of women and preached against child marriages,female foeticide, sati pratha and illiteracy among the women. To empower the Schedule Caste (SC )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 exclusively meant for the upliftment of educational status of SC women/girls like Attendance scholarship to SC primary girl students to encourage them to attend the schools regularly and to minimize the drop-out rate among them. Other schemes for girls are strengthening of girls senior secondary schools and opening of meritorious schools, construction and running of girls hostels in secondary and higher secondary schools, toilets for girls in all schools, attendance scholarships to SC primary girl students, handicapped girl students in rural area. Other programmes, where about 50% allocation is kept to promote educational status of women are Digital education in government schools, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) for universalization of secondary education, Dr. Hargobind Khurana scholarships for brilliant poor students, Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, Mid Day Meal and coaching of stenography etc.

    With the result, literacy rate has improved considerably and dropout rate of SC girls has decreased. However, the dropout rate among SC girls as compared to SC boys is still higher upto 5th standard, whereas, the dropout rate of boys is higher than girls upto 10th standard.

    Sex wise SC Population and Literacy Rate in the State
    Particulars Total Male Female
    SC Population 88.60 lac 46.40 lac 42.20 lac
    SC Literacy rate 64.81 70.66 58.39
        (Source:- Census 2011 )

    Dropout rate of total (boys and girls) vis-a-vis SCs (boys and girls) in the State of Punjab 2010-11 (as on 30-9-2010)
    Standard Total SC
    Total Boys Girls Total Boys Girls
    Upto 5th class (Class I-V) 9.4 4.4 14.9 22.3 21.7 23.0
    Upto 8th class (Class I-VIII) 9.2 5.2 13.7 - - -
    Upto 10th class (Class I-X) 30.5 30.2 30.7 55.7 57.3 54.0
    (Source:- Statistics of School Education, 2010-11 Ministry of HRD, GoI-2014 )

Economic Status

    The data regarding economic status of SC women is not presently available in the State. However, 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. State Govt. is running exclusive training institute for girls “Mai Bhago Armed Forces Preparatory Institute at Mohali” to impart preparatory training to enter in the armed forces. Another state scheme to promote women entrepreneurship under standup India (WISH) is likely to provide impetus to the efforts of the Government for economic development of women in the state. There are some other schemes like National Rural Livelihood Mission, National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme etc. where more than 50% women are engaged. The State Govt. is also implementing various exclusive programmes for SC women/girls like Fabric painting, Tie & die technology, beauty Parlour, cutting & tailoring, stitching, embroidery, fashion designing etc. for the economic development of SC women. The priority is also given to SC women under various beneficiary oriented economic development programmes such as ‘Bank tie-up loaning’ and placing of funds at the disposal of District Authorities etc. which are being implemented with the assistance from the State Government and Central Government.

Social Security

    In order to inculcate the sense of Social Security among the SC girls/women, the exclusive programmes for SC women/girls like Mai Bhago Vidya Scheme, Scheme for adolescent girls, National Mission for empowerment of women including Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, Ashirwad scheme to SC girls/women/divorcee and daughters of widows at the time of their marriage, Kishori Shakti Yojna, financial assistance to widows and destitute women, women helpline etc. are being implemented by the State Govt.

    During 2017-18, an amount of Rs. 1258.86 crore is likely to be utilized for the socio-economic and educational development of SC women/girls under SCSP schemes having considerable women component. The estimates of SCSP expenditure 2018-19 include Rs. 1520.08 crore as women component under significant schemes for the benefit of SC women/girls. The detail of various schemes/programmes for the empowerment of SC women/girls proposed to be implemented in the year 2018-19 is given at Statement VIII.