Madhya Pradesh’s Shivraj government is committed to women empowerment

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Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan rightly says that “If sisters and women are strong then the society will be strong, if the society is strong then the state will be strong and if the state is strong then the country will also be strong. The country cannot be strong without the empowerment of half the population”.

In the direction of women’s empowerment, the need and importance of this scheme is being noticed by the kind of encouraging environment that is being created among the mother power regarding Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s ambitious ‘Laadli Bahna Yojana’. Recently, during my stay in Gwalior, after talking to mothers and sisters of different classes, two things have been added to my experience. One, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s popularity among women is amazing. This matter is not limited to popularity only, but he also has unwavering faith in the Chief Minister. Two, they believe that no one else has ever started as many schemes for women as Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. From the birth of the daughter to her marriage and her life after that, the government has also worried. The Shivraj government takes care of the mother along with the daughter. Undoubtedly, the Shivraj government has been seen striving for women empowerment since its first term. Looking at the women’s policy of Madhya Pradesh government, it is noticed that this government is committed to empower women socially, economically, politically and educationally. Apart from Beti Bachao Abhiyan, Ladli Laxmi Yojana, Swagatam Laxmi Yojana, Gaon Ki Beti Yojana, Janani Suraksha Karyakram, Kanya Guardian Pension Yojana, Usha Kiran Yojana and Mukhyamantri Kanya Vivah Yojana, there are many other programs and schemes through which the government at every step He is seen standing with the women. ‘Ladli Bahna Yojana’ has also been added to this series of women empowerment.

The Madhya Pradesh government started the ‘Laadli Bahna Yojana’ on March 5, 2023, on the birthday of Shivraj Singh Chouhan, a sensitive mass leader towards daughters. Under the scheme, more than 1 crore 25 lakh women of Madhya Pradesh will get financial assistance of Rs 1000 per month i.e. Rs 12 thousand annually. The first installment of this scheme will reach the accounts of eligible women on June 10. It is expected that the size of the scheme will increase in the future and the amount given to women may also increase. For example, the farmers of Madhya Pradesh get Rs 10,000 annually (6,000 from the central and 4,000 from the state government) under the ‘Kisan Samman Nidhi’. However, the Chief Minister is monitoring the implementation of the scheme from day one. To ensure that no eligible woman is deprived of the scheme, on the initiative of the Chief Minister, applications from women were received by organizing camps across the state. There should not be any financial hindrance in the implementation of the scheme, so a provision of Rs 8 thousand crore had already been made for the scheme in the budget as well. The way ‘Ladli Laxmi Yojna’ has worked to create a positive environment towards daughters in the society, the same is expected from ‘Ladli Bahna Yojna’. There are three main objectives of this scheme- One, to maintain the self-reliance of women and continuous improvement in the health and nutrition level of their dependent children. Two, to make women more financially independent. Three, to encourage the effective role of women in decision making at the family level. If this scheme is successful to some extent in fulfilling these objectives, then a revolutionary change will be seen in the society.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan rightly says that “If sisters and women are strong then the society will be strong, if the society is strong then the state will be strong and if the state is strong then the country will also be strong. The country cannot be strong without the empowerment of half the population”. Surely the contribution of mother power in the development of the country cannot be ignored. This scheme will strengthen the hands of women economically. It is noteworthy that only 13.6 percent of females have labor force participation in urban areas as against 55.9 percent of males. Similarly in rural areas only 23.3 per cent females have labor force participation as against 57.7 per cent males. It is clear that women are lagging behind in economic independence. Because of this, women are not able to meet the necessary expenses even for themselves. If we look at the data from the National Family Health Survey (2020-21), it is noted that 54.7 percent of women in the age group of 15-49 years are anemic and 23.0 percent of women are at a level below the standard body mass index. The government believes that if women get financial assistance, then they will be able to worry not only about their health but also about the health of their dependents. Apart from this, women will not only develop self-employment/livelihood resources by using the locally available resources, but will also be able to play an effective role in their decision-making at the family level. There are many such examples available across the country, which show that women, by joining ‘self-help groups’, have set up capable projects of self-employment on the basis of small amount.

However, some political pundits are seeing it limited to ‘election plan’. If we look at the old record of Shivraj government, it is not just an election plan, but it is noticed that this government has been continuously taking steps in the interest of women. Unlike other political parties, the BJP did not make any promise in its election manifesto to give money to women every month. Therefore, linking this scheme with elections, reduces its importance and necessity. No one should hesitate to say that by underlining the importance and role of mother power in the society, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has taken several necessary steps to increase her self-respect and respect.

-Lokendra Singh

(The author is a freelance commentator.)

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