The legislature, executive, judiciary and media are the four pillars of democracy. Anyone will tell. But who will be able to tell the four pillars of women’s empowerment, which is half of the population and which plays an important role in nation building?
Probably no one If we do not know these four pillars, how will we be able to march ahead in that direction? Probably the same happened in the last 60-70 years. The governments came into the power, and went away, but they did not make policies, nor implement them, keeping women in center. The words of empowerment and upliftment are only written in the pages of newspapers, speeches of politicians and on Women’s Day in the ‘vision document’ of government because the woman was never a ‘vote bank’.
‘Chalta hai …’ this attitude was first rejected by that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi after the formation of the government in 2014. Modi ji’s first big initiative was Jan Dhan and Beti Bachao – Beti Padhao ..! Both had priority only women. Today, there are about 20 crore bank accounts of poor women opened and the sex ratio has increased from 840 to 935 even in Haryana where sex ratio was highly eskewed. Modiji did not stop here and slowly the caravan of women centric schemes grew which ensured the four pillars of women empowerment. These four pillars are security, health, social empowerment and economic empowerment.
Several steps were taken by putting them in front. He not only made plans, but laid full emphasis on the implementation of the plans. From the birth of the girl child, various schemes have been launched in a systematic way for her education, nutrition, skills and development.
The most important was the provision of security. A provision was made to hang rape convict of girls under the age of 12 years. By amending the law, the time limit for the completion of the judicial process is now brought down to seven-eight months. Due to this, in many states, in two-three months, the rape convicts were sentenced to death. Anti-Trafficking Bill was introduced, use of Nirbhaya funds started effectively and opened more than 300 ‘one-stop centers’ for women victims of violence, to provide shelter and medical facilities. More than 700 Swadhar Homes were built.
Protecting motherhood is the protection of the future, everyone knows this, but nobody bothered to implement it. Modi ji should be an exception, as he launched safe motherhood campaign. More than two and a half million pregnancy checkups were conducted in thousands of health centers, more than 8 lakh high risk pregnancies were detected. Under the Prime Minister Matruvandana, every pregnant woman was given financial assistance of 6000 rupees. Mission Rainbow began vaccination of mothers and infants. Its scope was expanded, 5 new vaccines (measles, rubella, neumococcal rotavirus, inactivated polio and Japanese encephalitis) were added. It is benefiting millions of mothers and children.
He started a National Nutrition Mission of nine thousand crores. Millions of mothers are getting its benefits. Modi ji took an important step forward and provided maternity leave for working women which has been increased from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. How much these 26 weeks are necessary for maternal and child health after maternity, any working woman will tell. All these steps will reduce the maternal mortality rate by about 30 Percentage. The maternal mortality rate was 167 in 2011-13, which decreased to around 110-120 during 2016-18.
The steps that Modi government has taken for social empowerment of women, perhaps no one has taken so far. Ujjwala scheme is a great example of this social empowerment. This scheme of giving free gas cylinders to poor Dalit, tribal women brought unprecedented change … Instead of living in suffocation, ‘Ujjwala’ gave more than eight and a half crore women, children the chance to breathe in clean air. Under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna women were not only given priority in the allocation, but also made them the landlord or co-owner.
This single step increased the confidence of the women, made them self-reliant. More than 10 crore toilets built on the mission mode in Swachh Bharat freed the embarrassment of crores of women. This happened in schools, when more than five lakh toilets were constructed. Girls are no longer afraid of embarrassment.
The triple talaq law is the crowning glory for Modi ji. It was not easy to save crores of Muslim sisters from this centuries old practice. In view of the opposition of Mullah-Maulvi as well as the pseudo secular parties that protected them, Modiji showed political will. For this strong will, the Muslim sisters will always be indebted to Modi ji. One such decision, which will make Muslim women feel more empowered. After independence, women were allowed to go on Haj Yatra without Mehram (male guardian) for the first time. Keeping in mind the importance of education, more than three crore Muslim girls awarded with scholarships.
If there is no economic empowerment, then social empowerment probably does not have much use. Therefore, more emphasis has been given on economic empowerment in Modiji’s women policy. As mentioned earlier, Jan Dhan Yojana has enabled more than 20 crore poor women’s to open their banks accounts. Now these poor women have accumulated more than one lakh crores in these accounts. Women have taken maximum benefit of Mudra Yojana. More than 25 crores of loans have been given in which there 17-18 crores borrowers are women.
This single scheme has accelerated the pace of economic empowerment. Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, Standup India, Strengthening Self Help Groups in National Rural Livelihood Mission, women ‘e-Haat’ scheme, promote business women in ‘MSME’ … Modi ji left no stone unturned to give financial strength to women.
When the world is talking only about women’s development, then Modi ji is working towards women led development. He is desperately trying to bring it to the ground. I would like to present an example. Recently, the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana was announced to combat the Corona virus. If you look at it carefully, you will know comfortably, Modi ji has trusted women only in this crisis time! The government has offered Five hundred rupees every month in the account of 20 crore women of Jan Dhan account holders, three kitchen cylinders were given free to more than eight crore beneficiaries, cheaper and double loan to self-help groups…
This indicates that…
Modi ji is building a new India. It is an India growing on the strength of womanism. Whether it is sports or science, our woman power is second to none. In Corona Fight, women are ahead of everyone. She is advancing rapidly in every field and enhancing the pride of India with her achievements. Modi ji has shown commitment in the last six years to empower women and equal participation in the overall development of the country which no one has shown in 60 years. Modi ji showed this by doing, because the foundation of ‘ModiNomics’ is feminine. On complete one year in second term I congratulate Team Modi and I have a strong belief in the mind that in future as well, government will take better steps towards making women stronger.
(The writer is National President, BJP Mahila Morcha)