Transforming India by Empowering our Women and Children
All my life I have firmly believed in direct action to make a difference in the lives of an individual or the society. It is most important for me to make every Woman and Child feel safe and empowered. This has been the guiding principle for the Ministry of Women and Child Development for the last four years.
Extending Maternity Leave to all women, bringing in death penalty for sexual crimes against girls, reducing the age of juveniles from 18-16 years for heinous crime are some of the initiatives on the policy front.
Here is what we have achieved in the last 48 months. The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister in January 2015, and 104 of the 161 districts are already showing significant increase in Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB). This means that thousands of girls have been saved. The programme has brought a huge positive change in the mindset of society towards the girl child.
We have launched POSHAN Abhiyaan in all the high-burden districts of the country with a view to eliminate malnutrition. Real time monitoring of the condition of children and pregnant and lactating women is being done in over one lakh anganwadis which will be extended to all anganwadis in the current year.
One Stop Centres have been established in 182 districts of the country which have helped over one lakh women who have suffered physical violence of any kind.
Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013 has been made operational. A facility for filing online complaints with the Ministry under this Act has been started. Panic button in mobile phones is being tested on ground and we hope to launch it in the entire country over the next 2-3 months.
We have been working tirelessly for the protection of children. The Childline facility has now expanded to cover 415 cities across India and dedicated line 1098 is receiving over 1.8 crore calls in one year.
The Railway Childline has been started in 60 railway stations and has helped rescue thousands of children from being trafficked. We have also started POCSO e-Box to let children file complaints of sexual abuse with anonymity where we reach out to them with necessary help.
I have carved out my agenda for the next one year. We are going to establish a state-of-the-art forensic facility to help investigate cases of sexual crimes. One Stop Centres will be set up in every district of the country. An inter-ministerial mechanism to deal with problems of women involved in troubled NRI marriages will be put in place. A lot of work has been done for establishment of a National Alliance against online sexual abuse material which we will be operationalised shortly.
A large facility for widows is going to be operational in Vrindavan. We have worked on the establishment of a national mechanism to deal with cases of children involved in disturbed transnational marriages. We hope to get this mechanism functional shortly.
The Anti-Trafficking Bill is already in the Parliament and we hope to get it approved in the Monsoon Session. The final step in the reforms of adoption process is underway which will eliminate delays which are caused in the judicial processes.
The initiatives taken under the dynamic leadership of Shri Narendra Modi ji have been truly transformational. “Sankalp Se Siddhi” has been our pledge to the people and we have followed this in the last 48 months. Our journey towards a country where women are respected and where children are safe has just started. We still have a long way to go. Our government is committed to complete this journey. I invite you all to travel this path with us.