Chapter 1
Introduction
 

1.1.1 The Ministry of Human Resource Development was set up in 1985, with the objective of integrating efforts for the development of human potential in the areas of education, women and child development, arts and culture, youth affairs and sports. The Ministry had four constituent Departments viz.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Education

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Culture

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Youth Affairs and Sports

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Women and Child Development

1.1.2 However, from 15 October 1999, through a Notification of Government of India, the erstwhile Ministry of Human Resource Development was bifurcated into two different Ministries viz. Ministry of Human Resource Development and Ministry of Culture, Youth Affairs & Sports. Simultaneously there was bifurcation of the Department of Education into two parts, Department of Elementary Education and the Department of Secondary Education & Higher Education. As a result the Ministry of Human Resource Development is presently composed of three Departments viz.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Elementary Education

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Secondary Education & Higher Education

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Women and Child Development

1.2.1 The report of the Department of Women and Child Development is Part (III) of the report of the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

1.2.2 The development of women and children to their full potential constitutes an essential component in the country’s total human resource development effort. The Department of Women and Child Development was set up in the year 1985 as a part of the Ministry of Human Resource Development to give the required impetus to the development of women and children. In its capacity as a nodal agency looking after the advancement of women and children, the Department formulates plans, policies and programmes, enacts/amends legislation affecting women and children and guides and coordinates the efforts of both governmental and non-governmental organisations working in the field of Women and Child Development. Apart from this, the Department implements certain innovative programmes for women and children. These programmes are in the areas of employment and income generation, welfare and support services, gender sensitization, training for employment and income generation and awareness generation. The ultimate objective of all these programmes is to make women independent and self reliant and to ensure that children grow and live in a healthy and secure environment.

1.2.3 For the holistic development of the child, the Department has been implementing the world’s largest and most unique outreach programme of the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme (ICDS) providing a package of services comprising supplementary nutrition, immunisation, health check up and referral services, pre-school non-formal education and health, and nutrition education. There is effective coordination and monitoring of various sectoral programmes. Most of the programmes of the Department are run through non-governmental organisations. Efforts are made to have more effective involvement of NGOs.

1.2.4 The major policy initiatives undertaken by the Department in the recent past include the establishment of the National Commission for Women (NCW), Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK), universalising and strengthening of ICDS, setting up of National Creche Fund (NCF), launching of Indira Mahila Yojana (IMY), Balika Samriddhi Yojana (BSY), and Rural Women’s Development and Empowerment Project, also known as Swa-shakti project.

1.2.5      The following chapters broadly cover the main activities of the Department during the year 1999-2000.

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Chapter 2
An Overview
 

2.1.1 The Department of Women & Child Development continue to implement various schemes for the welfare, development and empowerment of women and children. In addition to these there were many initiatives taken by the Department during the year under report. An overview of the activities of the Department is outlined below.

INTEGRATED CHILD DEVELOPMENT SERVICES (ICDS) SCHEME

2.2.1 The scheme of ICDS which started in 1975-76 in 33 blocks in the country presently covers 4200 blocks. These benefit 55.9 lakh expectant and nursing mothers and 264.86 lakh children upto six years of age. During the year, the Government approved continuation of the scheme in existing blocks and further operationalisation of 390 projects in a phased manner during the remaining period of the Ninth Five Year Plan.

WORLD BANK ASSISTED ICDS PROJECTS

2.3.1 A multi-state World Bank ICDS Project ICDS-I was implemented by the Department in 110 blocks of Andhra Pradesh and 191 blocks of Orissa from 1991 to 1997. Thereafter ICDS-II project has been in operation in 210 blocks of Bihar and 244 blocks of Madhya Pradesh since 1993. At present ICDS-III is in operation from 1999-2000 covering the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh covering 318 new blocks and 685 old blocks.

CRECHES/DAY CARE CENTRES FOR CHILDREN

2.4.1 Under the scheme of Day Care Centres for Children 12,470 creches provide day care services to children of migrant, casual, agricultural labourers and construction workers. The Central Social Welfare Board, Bharatiya Adimjati Sevak Sangha and Indian Council for Child Welfare are implementing the scheme. In addition to this, the Department has set up 2455 creches under the National Creche Fund.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (ECE)

2.5.1 The Early Childhood Education Scheme was started in 1982 to reduce drop out rates and to improve the rate of retention of children in primary schools. It is being run by voluntary organisations in nine educationally backward States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tripura and West Bengal.

TRAINING OF ICDS FUNCTIONARIES

2.6.1 Training is given to the functionaries associated with the implementation of ICDS programme at all levels, such as Anganwadi Workers (AWW’s), Supervisors, Child Development Project Officers (CDPO’s) and Programme Officers. The National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development, through its three regional centres at Bangalore, Guwahati and Lucknow, 36 middle level training centres and 392 Anganwadi Workers Training Centres impart training. In addition to this, the Central Technical Committee on Health and Nutrition also gives training to medical and para-medical staff.

UDISHA

2.6.2 To ensure effective implementation and to review the status of UDISHA, a World Bank assisted ICDS training programme, an elaborate mechanism for frequent and regular interaction with the States/Union Territories has been set up. In this regard, national level meetings with State Nodal Officers were held in Manesar, Haryana in July, 1999, Goa in January, 2000 and Udaipur in February, 2000. Group level reviews were also held with States in November, 1999 and January, 2000. These meetings have gone a long way in establishing direct linkages with the States/UTs.

NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR CHILDREN (NCC)

2.7.1 To safeguard the constitutional and legal rights of children, a proposal to set up a National Commission for Children is under consideration of the Department. The proposal has been approved by the Parliamentary Standing Committee and on the basis of recommendations of the Committee, a draft Note was prepared and circulated. Most of the State Governments, UT Administrations/ Ministries/ Departments have agreed to set up the National Commission for Children on the lines of National Human Rights Commission. The draft Bill is under consideration of the Government.

NATIONAL CHARTER FOR CHILDREN

2.8.1 The Department prepared an Approach Paper on National Charter for Children which has been circulated to all the States/UT Governments and concerned Central Ministries/Departments for their comments. The Department has prepared a draft National Charter, which is presently under consideration of Government.

NATIONAL AWARDS FOR CHILD WELFARE

2.9.1 The Department has selected five institutions and one individual for National Awards for Child Welfare for the year 1999. The President of India will confer these Awards in a ceremony.

NATIONAL CHILD AWARDs FOR EXCEPTIONAL ACHIEVEMENT

2.10.1 The National Selection Committee has on 14.11.1999 selected fourteen children for their exceptional achievements in the field of academics, arts, sports, music and culture.

STREE SHAKTI PURASKAR AWARDS

2.11.1 Five Awards named after eminent women in Indian history i.e. Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar, Kannagi, Mata Jijabai, Rani Gaidinliu Zeliang and Rani Lakshmi Bai, have been instituted by the Department during the year. The Awards will be given to Indian women for their contribution in the field of social development. Each Award carries a cash prize of Rs.1.00 lakh and a citation.

SHORT STAY HOMES FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS

2.12.1 During the year, the financial pattern and norms under the scheme for Short Stay Homes were upgraded. The provisions for rent and maintenance, cost for residents have been increased. Provision has also been made for up-gradation of skills and capacities of staff and residents as well as for education of the children of residents.

WORKING WOMEN’S HOSTELS (WWH)

2.13.1 Since the inception of the scheme of Working Women’s Hostels, 830 hostels have been sanctioned to provide accommodation to 58,744 working women and day care facilities for 7668 children in 293 hostels.

SUPPORT TO TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMME (STEP)

2.14.1 The programme of STEP, which was launched in 1987, seeks to provide new upgraded skills to poor and assetless women in the traditional sectors of agriculture, sericulture, handicrafts, fisheries, dairying, poultry, etc. for enhancing their productivity and income generation. During the year (upto December 1999) two projects have been sanctioned. Thus, since inception of the scheme, 83 projects have been sanctioned to benefit 4.46 lakh women.

TRAINING-CUM-EMPLOYMENT-CUM-PRODUCTION CENTRES (NORAD)

2.15.1 The Norwegian Agency for International Development (NORAD) assisted a programme for training and skill development and promotion of self-reliance through income generation for women in non-traditional trades. The programme was started in the country in 1982-83. At present, the NORAD share constitutes about 33% of the total outlay. Under the programme, popularly known as NORAD, 109 projects have been sanctioned to benefit 7585 women during the year (upto 8th February 2000) under report.

RASHTRIYA MAHILA KOSH (RMK)

2.16.1 The National Credit Fund (RMK ) which was set up in March 1993, to extend credit facilities to poor and needy women in the informal sectors, has disbursed loans of Rs.11.69 crore during 1999-2000 (up to 31.1.2000) for the benefit of 0.47 lakh women. Since inception, the Kosh has sanctioned credit of Rs.77.36 crore to benefit 3.50 lakh women.

INDIRA MAHILA YOJANA (IMY)

2.17.1 Launched on 15th August 1995, the scheme for the holistic empowerment of women is being implemented in 238 blocks in the country. The main strategy of the scheme is to create an organisational base for women to come together, to analyse and fulfil their needs through existing departmental programmes of the State and Central Governments. Till now, 40,000 women’s groups have been formed under the scheme out of which 3,000 groups have been formed during the year under report. The scheme is being revised and is under consideration of Government.

DISTANCE EDUCATION PROGRAMME FOR WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT

2.18.1 With a view to enhance the capacity of field level functionaries and other development related practitioners, the Department has initiated a collaborative project with IGNOU and ISRO for starting a certificate course in the Distance Education mode on Women’s Group Mobilisation and Empowerment. The preliminary activities under this project have been completed and the first programme is scheduled to commence in July 2000.

NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR WOMEN (NCW)

2.19.1 The National Commission for Women set up in 1992 covers all facets of issues relating to safeguarding women’s rights and promotion of their empowerment. During the year under report, the Commission continued to work for review of laws, intervention in specific individual complaints of atrocities and sexual harassment of women at the work place, and initiated remedial action to safeguard the interests of women.

NATIONAL POLICY FOR EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN

2.20.1 The National Policy for Empowerment of Women is being finalised by the Department. The policy would prescribe strategies and action points to bridge the gap between the equal de-jure status and unequal de-facto position of the women in the country. It would seek to guide action at every level and in every sector by mainstreaming gender perspectives into all laws, policies, programmes, regulations and budgetary allocations of the Government.

NATIONAL RESOURCE CENTRE FOR WOMEN (NRCW)

2.21.1 The Department is in the process of setting up a National Resource Centre for Women. This would be a nodal body to mainstream gender issues in policies and programmes for women by training, policy support, information dissemination, research and documentation.

BALIKA SAMRIDDHI YOJANA (BSY)

2.22.1 The scheme was launched in 1997 with the specific objective to change the community’s attitude towards the girl child. A mother of a girl child born on or after 15th August 1997 in a family below the poverty line in rural and urban areas is given a grant of Rs. 500. The scheme was revised in June 1999, and now provides that Rs. 500 is deposited in the name of the girl child when she is born and an annual scholarship is given to her when she starts attending school.

RURAL WOMEN’S DEVELOPMENT AND EMPOWERMENT PROJECT (RWDEP) -   SWA-SHAKTI PROJECT

2.23.1 The RWDEP also known as Swa-Shakti Project was sanctioned as a Centrally Sponsored Project with an estimated cost of Rs.191.21 crore to strengthen the process of, and create an environment for empowerment of women in the six States of Bihar, Haryana, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. During the year initial preparatory arrangements have been completed. Under the Swa-Shakti Project about 12,000 Self Help Groups (SHGs) of women will be organised in a span of five years.

RESEARCH STUDIES

2.24.1 During the year, the scope of the scheme was revised and widened to cover additional activities viz. Setting up of Chairs in Universities/Institutes of Women and Child, Projects for Monitoring of Women’s Schemes, Strengthening of Institutions, Capacity for Monitoring , Training of Personnel, etc. apart from sanctioning studies and workshops. In the year under report (upto 28.2. 2000), 5 studies and 11 workshops have been sponsored.

SAMAJ KALYAN CHETNA PARV

2.25.1 The Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB), an autonomous organisation under the Department, observed the year 1999 as Samaj Kalyan Chetna Parv. Rallies, meetings, awareness campaigns, capacity building and training, advocacy and information dissemination and awareness for violence against women were the main topics for which awareness was created among the masses.

ROLE OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME OFFICER

2.26.1 Wherever there are Child Development Programme Officers, they have been designated as the ‘ Nodal Agency’ for implementation of all programmes of the Department of Women and Child Development at the block level. She/He play a role in the pre-funding appraisal of proposals and the supervision and monitoring of all programmes of the Department.

HIGHLIGHTS

2.27.1 In addition to all the above continuing activities, some of the highlights of the activities undertaken by the Department during the year are listed below:

      sqre.gif (943 bytes)  A Task Force to review all existing legislations and Government Schemes with a view to enhance women’s access to national resources and to ensure their rightful place in the mainstream of economic development is being constituted. The Task Force will also chalk out specific programmes for observing the year 2001 as ‘Women’s Empowerment Year’.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes)  Meetings were held from 5- 8 April, 1999 with different Departments of the concerned Ministries implementing UNICEF assisted programmes, in order to finalise the draft GOI-UNICEF Master Plan of Operation 1999-2002. Master Plan of Operation (MPO) 1999-2002 of GOI-UNICEF was signed on 3rd May, 1999. The financial outlay of the MPO is US $300.042 million.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Sh.Anantrai K.Shah from Bhavnagar, Gujarat, was selected by the Department for the Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award for Services to Children for the year 1998. Secretary, Women and Child Development on behalf of the Minister conferred the Award on 15.4.1999. For the year 1999, Smt. Sumati Balakrishana Sukalikar has been selected for the Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award. The Award will be conferred by the Minister of Human Resource Development.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Secretary, Women and Child Development presented the National Child Awards for Exceptional Achievement, 1997 on 15 April 1999 to 18 children. For the year 1999, fourteen children have been selected for National Awards for Exceptional Achievements.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Under the third Credit & Micro-enterprise Development Training (CRÈME), a programme evolved in collaboration with British Council, Department for International Development, U.K. and the Durham University Business School (DUBS) was held from 15 February - 9 April 1999. A bridge proposal for extension of the CRÈME programme has been agreed to by DFID with slight modifications, The fourth programme covering 31 participants started with the Indian leg which was held during 3rd-22nd January 2000. The DUBS programme will be starting from 27th March 2000 and a Bangladesh/Indonesia study tour is likely in May 2000.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The Hon’ble President conferred the National Awards for Child Welfare, 1998 in Rashtrapati Bhavan on 27.5.1999. During the current year 5 institutions and one individual have been selected for National Awards for Child Welfare.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) During the year, National Bravery Awards, 1999 were conferred by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India on 15 children who have shown exceptional bravery. Since the inception of the scheme 555 children have been given these awards.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) In June 1999 the revised Balika Samriddhi Yojana was approved. The Scheme is now being implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with a scholarship component in addition to the earlier Rs. 500/- at the birth of a girl child belonging to a family below poverty line.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Food and Nutrition Board participated in the Social Development Fair organised by India Trade Promotion Organisation at Pragati Maidan during 15-23 May, 1999.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) 3 workshops for sensitization of state level functionaries of IMY were held at Guwahati, Ranchi and Hyderabad from April 18 -19, May 14 -15 and June 10 -11, 1999 respectively.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) In June 1999, the Department published a Hand Book giving details of its schemes including formats for applications, to facilitate officials and non-governmental organizations at the grass root levels in accessing information and to avail the benefit of the schemes of the Department. The handbook has been distributed to all states & UTs.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Under the Swa-Shakti Project an Orientation Programme for functionaries of Swa-Shakti Project on the World Bank procurement procedures was held at Hyderabad from 4-9 June, 1999. Subsequently a Planning and Project Launch Workshop was organised from 28 June-2 July 1999. The Workshop was attended by partners from project states, Central Project Support Unit, NGOs, officials of World Bank, IFAD, National Institute of Public Co-operation and Child Development, Agricultural Finance Corporation, A.F. Ferguson & Co and Educational Consultants India Ltd.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The Department celebrated World Breast Feeding Week from 1-7 August 1999 on the theme of " Breast Feeding-Education for Life", a Global theme. 869 demonstrations, 221 exhibitions, 184 films and slide shows and 287 other functions were organised by the Department during the week.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A meeting of the Central Committee on Rehabilitation of Marginalised Women of Vrindavan constituted in the Department, was held on August 5, 1999 under the Chairpersonship of MOS(WCD) to identify action points for rehabilitation of these women and to monitor the flow of benefit of central schemes to the targeted group and to recommend the plan of action and implementation scheduled for their rehabilitation.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A One-day workshop on ‘Improving Nutrition of Rural Poor Through Community Based Processing’ was organised on 6 August, 1999 at Mysore in collaboration with CFTRI.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The web site of the Central Social Welfare Board has been hosted on the Internet. The inauguration of the site took place on 12th of August, ‘99, the Foundation Day of the Board. Smt.Suman Krishan Kant inaugurated the web-site. The address of the site is www.cswb.org. The site contains information about the Board, the online version of Social Welfare magazine and an NGO database.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The XVII National Nutrition Week was celebrated throughout the country from 1-7 September. The theme of the Week was ‘Preventing Malnutrition among Children Under Two Years’. Celebrations included State level workshops, exhibitions, live demonstrations, training programmes, etc.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A SAARC Workshop on follow-up action on the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing was organised by the Ministry of External Affairs in conjunction with the Department of Women and Child Development on 28-29 September, 1999. Delegations from the SAARC countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka participated in the workshop.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A training programme on preparation of Annual Action Plans and Procurement Plans under World Bank procedures was organised for Swa-Shakti project functionaries at the National Society for Promotion of Development and Administration Research & Training (NSDART), National Research & Resource Center, Mussoorie from 25 - 29 October 1999.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Secretary, Department of Women and Child Development led the Indian delegation for participation in the ESCAP High Level Intergovernmental Meeting held in Bangkok during 26-29 October, 1999 to review the regional implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action on empowerment of women.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) All the field units of Food and Nutrition Board organised special programmes to celebrate World Food Day on 16 October, 1999 and Global Iodine Deficiency Diseases on 21 October, 1999.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Food and Nutrition Board organised a two-day advocacy workshop on Nutrition for Northern States at Chandigarh on 18-19 November, 1999. It also participated in the Perfect Health Mela organised by Health Care Foundation of India from 29 October - 2 November, 1999 and was given the Distinguished Service Award.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A special postage stamp on Children’s Day was released by the Hon’ble Vice-President of India in a function held on the occasion on 14 November, 1999. Awards for National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement were declared.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The Department of Women and Child Development acted as a partner with the Asian and Pacific Development Centre (APDC) and organised a Gender Training Assessment meeting for National Machineries of the Asia Pacific Region from 16-19 November, 1999 at Heritage Village, Manesar, Gurgaon, Haryana. Representatives from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, South Korea, Peoples Republic of Laos, Maldives, Malaysia, Mognolia, Nepal, Philippine, Thailand, Srilanka and Vietnam also participated in the programme.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A proposal to set-up a Development Bank for Women Entrepreneurs is under consideration of this Department. Secretary, Women and Child Development took a meeting with experts and financial institutions on 1st December 1999, and the issue is now being considered by the Committee of Secretaries.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The Department as a nodal agency has been undertaking the Inter-Ministerial Review of the progress of 27 Beneficiary Oriented schemes for women through an inter-ministerial review committee. In December, 1999, this review committee has been renamed as Committee for Monitoring of Gender Mainstreaming in the Government by Prime Minister’s Office. Its scope has been expanded both in terms of coverage of ministries, schemes and areas to be examined.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The Minister of State for Women and Child Development held meetings with the Minister of Social Welfare, Government of Tamil Nadu on December 27, 1999 and with senior officers of the State Government dealing with women, child development and nutrition on December 28, 1999 and reviewed the Central and State Government programmes.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) adopted by the Assembly of United Nations on November 20, 1989, was acceeded to by India on December 11, 1992. The First Periodic Report submitted by the Government of India was considered by the  United Nation Council of Experts on the Rights of the Child at Geneva. The list of issues submitted in the reply by the Department of Women and Child Development in consultation with Central Ministries/Departments, State/UT Governments, NGOs, experts and individuals were considered in the 23rd Session of the Committee held in Geneva on January 11-12, 2000. The reply to the questions raised by the Members were given. The replies on the further questions raised has been sent to the Committee
      on CRC.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) India is a signatory to the Convention of the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979. India’s first report on implementation of the provisions of the Convention was considered by the UN Committee on CEDAW during 24-31 January, 2000. A delegation of officers from various ministries and departments led by Secretary, Women and Child Development attended the hearing at New York. In the course of the hearing the CEDAW Committee members interalia recommended that the Convention be widely disseminated and translated into the regional languages in the country.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Under a collaborative project with Aus - Aid, a team of 15 Officers of Central/State/UTs Government after undergoing a preliminary training on Micro - Financing Women’s Groups, for 5 days at Bankers Institute of Rural Development, Lucknow from 3-7 January, 2000, visited Bangladesh and Indonesia from 14-23 January, 2000. Thereafter, they had a 15 days training - cum- workshop at Brisbane, Australia from 24 January to 6 February, 2000.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The Minister of State for Women and Child Development held meetings with the Ministers of Women and Child Development, Government of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh on 21st January, 2000 and 3rd February, 2000 respectively and reviewed the Central Government’s programme implemented in these states.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A two-day Conference of State Ministers and State Secretaries in-charge of Women and Child Development was organised by the Department on 9-10 February 2000 during which the issues relating to women and child welfare and development were discussed at length and progress of central programmes was reviewed.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Under Swa-Shakti Project a quarterly newsletter has been launched. The Minister of State, Women and Child Development released the first issue on 9 February 2000. The newsletter would voice the concerns and expectations being shared by women at the grassroots level.

                     sqre.gif (943 bytes)  A Workshop was organised by the department in collaboration with CIDA from
                          15-17 February 2000 at Manesar, Gurgoan, Haryana on " Best Practices in Group
                           Dynamics and Micro-credit" which was attended by officials from national level
                           NGOs, Micro-finance institutions, Government Training Institutions and support
                           agencies. More than 20 papers were written for the Workshop.

                    sqre.gif (943 bytes) RMK’s own website was inaugurated by Smt. Sumitra Mahajan, Minister of State,
                        Women and Child Development on 27 January, 2000. The Website address is
                        http://rmk.nic.in .

                    sqre.gif (943 bytes) CSWB organised a 3 day conference on 22 - 24 February,2000 on Voluntary Action
                          & Social Development. This was attended by several NGOs & Government
                          organisations.

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Chapter 3
Organisation
 

3.1.1 The Department of Women and Child Development remained under the charge of Ms. Uma Bharati, Minister of State, with Independent charge till 12th October, 1999. Thereafter, Dr. Murali Manohar Joshi, took charge as Minister of Human Resource Development and Smt. Sumitra Mahajan as Minister of State, Human Resource Development on 13th October, 1999. Smt. Kiran Aggarwal continued to be Secretary of the Department, assisted by four Joint Secretaries who head Four Bureaux, which are Child Development, Child Welfare and Nutrition, Women’s Development and Girl Child & Vigilance.

3.1.2 The organisational chart of the Department of Women and Child Development is at Annexure-1.

3.1.3 The Department has four autonomous organisations viz. National Commission for Women (NCW), National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD), Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) and the Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB) working under its aegis. NIPCCD and RMK are registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, whereas CSWB is a charitable company registered under Section 25 of the Indian Companies Act, 1956. These organisations are fully funded by the Government of India and assist the Department in its functions including implementation of some programmes/schemes. The National Commission for Women was constituted as a national apex statutory body in 1992 for protecting and safeguarding the rights of women.

3.1.4 The list of subjects allocated to the Department of Women and Child Development is as follows:

      i. Family Welfare.

      ii. Women and Child Welfare and coordination of activities of other Ministries and organisations in connection with this subject.

      iii. Care of pre-school children.

      iv. Coordination of National Nutrition Education of Women.

      v. Charitable and religious endowments pertaining to subjects allocated to this Department.

      vi. Promotion and development of voluntary effort on the subjects allocated to this Department.

      vii. All other attached or subordinate offices or other organisations concerned with any of the subjects specified in this list.

      viii. Administration of the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, 1956 (104 of 1956).

      ix. The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (28 of 1961).

      x. Coordination of activities of Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE).

      xi. Planning, Research, Evaluation, Monitoring, Project formulation, Statistics and Training relating to the Development of Women and Children.

      xii. References from the United Nations Organisations relating to traffic in Women and Children.

      xiii. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

      xiv. Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB).

      xv. National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD).

      xvi. National Commission for Women (NCW).

      xvii. Food and Nutrition Board (FNB).

      xviii. Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK).

      xix. Mahila Samriddhi Yojana (MSY).

      xx. National Nutrition Policy (NNP).

      xxi. Indira Mahila Yojana (IMY).

Parliamentary Standing Committee

3.2.1 A meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development was held under the Chairpersonship of Shri S.B. Chavan on 27th March, 1999 to examine the Demands for Grants of the Department of Women and Child Development. The Action Taken Report (ATR) on the 85th Report of Standing Committee was submitted to the Rajya Sabha on 25th November, 1999.

Committee on Empowerment of Women

3.3.1 The Lok Sabha constituted a Committee on Empowerment of Women in March 1997. It consists of nominated Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Two sittings of the Committee were held to take oral evidence of Secretary (WCD) on the subject of "Developmental Schemes for Rural Women". The Committee presented its first report on "Developmental Schemes for Rural Women" to Lok Sabha on 21 April 1999. The Department has furnished the Action Taken Report on the points contained in the Report, with which the Department deals.

Financial Allocation

3.4.1 The Plan and Non-Plan outlays for the year 1999-2000 were fixed at Rs.1320.00 crore and Rs. 51.83 crore respectively. The outlays have been revised to Rs.1249.86 crore under Plan and Rs.48.21 crore under Non-Plan during the year 1999-2000. A statement indicating scheme-wise allocations is given at Annexure- II.

Women’s Component Plan

3.5.1 The Department of Women & Child Development (WCD) designated as the Nodal machinery for the development and empowerment of Women and Children is playing a crucial role in formulation and monitoring of the Women’s Component Plan. The Department has already advised all the Ministries / Departments for inclusion of an identifiable Women’s Component Plan in their programmes right from the planning process to monitoring, allocations and implementation of their programmes to ensure that benefits reach the women. The Department has further requested all the Ministries/Departments to set up Advisory Committees for Women in each sector to help in the preparation, monitoring and implementation of the Women’s Component Plan, set up a Women’s Cell and to include a chapter on Women’s Component Plan in their Annual Reports. The Department with the PMO has reviewed the monitoring of 27 Beneficiary Oriented Schemes for Women implemented by Central Government, and has expanded its scope to monitor the Women’s Component Plan. The committee has been renamed as the Committee for Monitoring Gender Mainstreaming in the Government of India.

The Department of Women and Child Development itself implements schemes viz., Indira Mahila Yojana, Setting up of Employment-cum-income generation-cum production unit (NORAD), Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP), Short Stay Homes, Working Women’s Hostels, Education Work for Prevention of Atrocities on Women, Rural Women’s Development & Empowerment Project (SWA-SHAKTI), Rashtriya Mahila Kosh, Balika Samriddhi Yojana, Condensed Course of Education and Vocational Training, Socio Economic Programmes, Awareness Generation Programmes, Women Empowerment Projects which are exclusively for women. Apart from these, proposals are under consideration of this Department to set up a Women’s Development Bank for women entrepreneurs and a National Resource Centre for Women to give technical backing by providing information dissemination, training, advocacy, policy support, and documentation. In addition, the Department has set up a statutory body, National Commission for Women to safeguard the rights and interest of women.

3.5.2 Besides all these, the Department has also implemented other schemes which cover women and children. These are ICDS, Creches, National Creche Fund, Training of ICDS, Balwadi Nutrition Programme, Early Childhood Education, Food & Nutrition Programmes. There are also general programmes which cover women and child related issues being implemented viz. Grant-in-Aid to Voluntary Organisations in the field of Women and Child Development, Research Studies, Workshops, Publication Information and Mass Education and Organisational assistance to Voluntary Organisations.

Special Component Plan (SCP) for Scheduled Castes and Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) for Scheduled Tribes

3.6.1 Programmes for women and children implemented by the Department are primarily directed towards the most disadvantaged groups of the population like scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and other economically backward classes living in backward rural areas and tribal areas and urban slums. The basic consideration in all the schemes is to ensure that the benefits of the schemes flow to the disadvantaged section of the population, the SCs and STs, women and children.

3.6.2 The Department has been implementing the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), which is perhaps the world’s largest programme for holistic development of the child. More than two-thirds of the Department’s annual budget is earmarked for ICDS. The Annual Plan outlay for the Department for 1999-2000 was Rs.1320.00 crore (BE), out of which Rs.855.76 crore is for ICDS. The scheme is being implemented in backward, rural and tribal areas, and urban slums.

3.6.3 The ICDS envisages provision of vital services to the most vulnerable groups in disadvantaged areas with a focus on :

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Areas inhabited pre-dominantly by SCs;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Areas inhabited by tribes, particularly backward tribes.

3.6.4 Of 4200 operational ICDS projects in the country, 750 are tribal projects located in areas predominantly inhabited by tribes. Even in respect of rural/urban projects, the focus is on coverage of the most vulnerable groups including SCs/STs and other backward classes.

3.6.5 During the year, the out-reach of the ICDS was extended to 5.59 million expectant and nursing mothers and 26.48 million children under six years of age for Early Childhood Care and Development.

3.6.6 The Central Social Welfare Board made the following stipulations under their grant-in-aid rules to encourage voluntary action in tribal areas :

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Normally, only such institutions are eligible for grant-in-aid from the Board which are engaged in Social Welfare activities for a minimum period of three years. This condition is relaxed in the case of institutions located in tribal areas.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes)  Institutions are normally given assistance under the grant-in-aid programme on an equal matching basis (50% grant from the Board and other 50% raised by the institutions). With regard to the institutions in tribal areas, the Board allows grants up to 75% of the approved expenditure and in certain deserving cases, grants even up to 95%.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes)  Further, the Central Social Welfare Board has been implementing the scheme of Socio-Economic Programme providing work and wages to women belonging to the weaker sections of society. The beneficiaries under the programmes include mostly the members belonging to SC and ST communities. Specific instructions have also been issued to maintain separate records of the number of beneficiaries belonging to SCs and STs.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Similarly, under the scheme of Condensed Courses of Education for Adult Women, the institutions are required to make efforts to enroll Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe women for the course. In the case of SC and ST candidates, conditions regarding educational qualifications for admission to the courses are relaxed wherever necessary. Records are kept of the SCs and STs admitted to these courses.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Under the scheme of Hostels for Working Women implemented by the Department, there are stipulations that 15% of the seats in the hostels to be reserved for SCs and 7.5% for STs.

3.6.7 The schemes of Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) are aimed at improving the nutritional status of people in general and of the vulnerable sections of the population including SCs and STs in particular. The major thrust of the programmes of the Board is on the rural, tribal and poor, urban areas.

3.6.8 Most of the programmes of the Department, particularly, those of women, are implemented through voluntary organizations. Efforts are made to encourage greater voluntary organizations to come forth with proposals to start welfare programmes in tribal and backward rural areas by extending special concessions and relaxations under grant-in-aid.

Annual Action Plan

3.7.1 The Department, at the instance of the Cabinet Secretariat, prepared the Annual Action Plan (AAP) for the schemes and activities of the Department, setting out the targets, both financial and physical, for the four quarters of the year. This AAP was monitored on a quarterly basis in the Department to review the financial and physical achievements as per the targets fixed at the beginning of the year.

Implementation of Programmes in the North-East

3.8.1 At the instance of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Home Affairs vide their Order No. 9/19/97-T, dated 9th October, 1997 constituted a Committee of Secretaries under the Chairpersonship of the Home Secretary to look into the development programmes of the Central Government in the North-East. The Department under the scheme of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), National Creche Fund (NCF), Assistance to Voluntary Organisations for Creches for the Children of Working and Ailing Mothers, Hostels for Working Women, Support to Training-cum-Employment Programme (STEP), Socio-Economic Programme (SEP), Condensed Courses of Education and Vocational Training for Women, Awareness Generation Projects for Rural and Poor Women, Food and Nutrition Board, National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development and other schemes of the Department allocated 10% of the budget available during the year for implementation of programmes in the North-East.

Reservation for SCs and STs

3.9.1 Reservation Policy of the Government of India is being followed in this Department. Out of 31 Group A officers in the Department, 4 belong to the Scheduled Castes (SC) and 2 officers belong to the Scheduled Tribes (ST). Out of 83 Group B officers, 9 belong to SC and 2 to ST communities. In respect of 95 Group C posts, 4 officers are from SC and one from ST communities. Out of 44 Group D posts, 28 officials belong to the SC and 2 to ST communities.

Use of Hindi in Official Work

3.10.1 On the 14 September, 1999, Hindi completed 50 years of its adoption as official language of the Union. Therefore, it was decided to celebrate the year 1999-2000 in a befitting manner as the Golden Jubilee Year of Official Language Hindi.

3.10.2 All the officers and employees, except one LDC, have acquired working knowledge of Hindi. Two LDCs are undergoing training in Hindi typewriting under the Hindi Teaching Scheme. Three employees of the Department have been given prizes for original Hindi noting and drafting.

3.10.3 A three-day Hindi workshop was organised on 29th July and from 2-4 August, 1999 for officers and employees of the Food and Nutrition Board. Entries in the service books continued to be made in Hindi. Letters received in Hindi were replied in Hindi. Article 3(3) of the Official Language Act, 1963 is being complied within the Department. Use of Hindi Telephone Directory published by MTNL is being made. Efforts are underway to provide Hindi software for the computers installed in the Department. Comprehensive Glossaries of Administrative Terms were given in September, 1999 to all officers/ sections to encourage the use of Hindi. Banners and Boards have been displayed at prominent places in the Department and a message from Secretary(WCD) was also issued, as a part of Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Official Language Hindi. Various competitions, such as Essay, Noting and Drafting as well as Debate, were held in the Department on 14-15 February, 2000. Writing of a Hindi equivalent of an English word on a display board continued this year also. Meetings of the Official Language Implementation Committee are being held under the Chairmanship of Joint Secretary in-charge of Hindi, to review the progressive use of Hindi in the Department as well as in the offices under the administrative control of the Department. The representative of the Department regularly attends the Official Language Implementation Committee meetings held in the offices under the administrative control of the Department.

3.10.4 In addition to the above items of work relating to the implementation of Official Language policy, the following important documents/were translated in Hindi during the period under report:

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Compendium on Schemes of the Department;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Cabinet Notes on Balika Samriddhi Yojana (BSY), ICDS, Amendment to the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 ;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A Brochure on Schemes of various Ministries/Departments relating to Women and Children;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A Booklet on Indira Mahila Yojana (IMY) - various Circulars and reading material;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A booklet on ICDS ;

                     sqre.gif (943 bytes)  Material relating to Rajiv Gandhi Manav Sewa Puraskar, 1998, National Child
                          Awards for Exceptional Achievement, 1997, National Awards for Child Welfare,
                          1998, Meera Sahbhagini Uddhar Abhiyan , National Nutrition Week, Universal
                          Children’s Day etc.

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Chapter 4
Women’s Development
 

4.1.1 The provisions of the Constitution of India granting equality to women in various spheres creates the legal framework within which the Department of Women and Child Development functions for women’s development. At the same time, the paradigms for social development have been swiftly changing with greater attention to gender issues at the global and national levels. The Government of India has continuously been formulating strategies and initiating processes to bring women into the mainstream. Women constitute almost half of the country’s population, and it is abundantly clear that there can be no development unless their needs and interests are fully taken into account. In addition, the Government of India has brought about specific legislation to protect and safeguard the rights of women.

4.1.2 Although there have been various shifts in policy approaches in the last fifty years from the concept of ‘welfare’ till the ‘70’s to ‘development’ in the ‘80’s and now to ‘empowerment’ in the ‘90’s, the Department of Women and Child Development, since its inception has been implementing special programmes designed to improve the socio-economic status of women. The Bureau of Women’s Development, and Micro Credit Development, in the Department plays a major role in this national endeavour for the advancement and empowerment of women. In its nodal capacity, the Department also formulates policies and programmes, enacts/amends legislations affecting women and coordinates the efforts of both Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations working to improve the lot of women in the country. Employment, credit facilities, training, awareness generation, income-generating activities have been major interventions for improving the position of women. In addition, provision is made for support services of various kinds, including help to the women of vulnerable groups. Capacity building through training, awareness generation and gender sensitisation also constitutes a thrust area of the Department.

4.1.3 These programmes play the role of being both supplementary and complementary to the other general development programmes in the sectors of health, education, labour and employment, rural and urban development, etc.

4.1.4 In line with this integrated approach to the empowerment of women and enhancement of the status of the girl child, the Department has sought to change attitudes in the family, the community and society towards women and the girl child and to mobilise these social units to play their rightful role in creating a conducive environment for women and girls. The interventions undertaken by the Department are directed to empower women and girl children legally, socially, economically and politically. The activities of the Department can be grouped under the following categories:

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Social and economic empowerment of women.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Training, employment and education.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Attitudinal change towards the girl child.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Support services.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Women’s rights and the law.

4.1.5 The details of programmes and schemes implemented by the Department of Women and Child Development are briefly described below:

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN

Rural Women’s Development and Empowerment (Swa-Shakti) Project

4.2.1 The Rural Women’s Development and Empowerment Project, also known as the Swa-Shakti Project had been sanctioned on 16.10.1998 as a Centrally-sponsored project for a period of 5 years with an estimated outlay of Rs.186.21 crores. In addition, an amount of Rs.5 crores is being provided during the project period, for facilitating the setting up, in the project states, of Revolving Funds for giving interest-bearing loans to beneficiary groups primarily during their initial formative stage. The overall objective of the project is to strengthen the processes, and create an environment, for empowerment of women. Its specific objectives are:

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Establishment of 7400 to 12000 self-reliant women’s self-help-groups (SHGs) having 15-20 members each, which will improve the quality of their lives, through greater access to, and control over, resources;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Sensitizing and strengthening the institutional capacity of support agencies to pro-actively address women’s needs;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Developing linkages between SHGs and lending institutions to ensure women’s continued access to credit facilities for income generation activities;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Enhancing women’s access to resources for better quality of life, including those for drudgery reduction and time-saving devices; and

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Increased control of women, particularly poor women, over income and spending, through their involvement in income generation activities which will indirectly help in poverty alleviation.

      1. The project will cover parts of 6 states and 35 districts, as mentioned in the following table.
State Districts

Number of SHGs

Estimated women beneficiaries
Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum
Bihar 3 3600 1,200 12,000 24,000
Gujarat 1,200 1,200 24,000 24,000
Haryana 3 600 1,200 12,000 24,000
Karnataka 4 1,200 1,200 24,000 24,000
M.P. 6 1,000 2,000 20,000 40,000
U.P 15 2,800 5,200 42,000 78,000
Total: 35 7,400 12,000 1,34,000  2,14,000

4.2.3 In these areas, the implementing agencies, namely the Women’s Development Corporation of the concerned states in Bihar, Haryana and Karnataka, Gujarat Women’s Economic Development Corporation in Gujarat, M.P Mahila Arthik Vikas Nigam in Madhya Pradesh and Mahila Kalyan Nigam in Uttar Pradesh, actively associate NGOs in the implementation tasks. Funds needed by the implementing agencies are being provided by the Government of India in the form of grants- in-aid.

4.2.4 A substantial part of the outlay for the project will become available as soft-term loan/credit to the Government of India from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and International Development Association (IDA). Almost the entire credit needs of the beneficiaries will be met from institutional sources. Roughly, the source of project funding would be as under:-

Source of Contribution as Presumptive

Funding % of total cost Amount
( Rs. in crores)
IDA 36.43 67.84
IFAD 35.87 66.79
Institutional Finance 15.85 29.51
Government of India 6.82 12.70
Beneficiary women 5.03 9.37

4.2.5 Funds needed for setting up of the Revolving Funds in project states will be provided by the Government of India from its own resources.

4.2.6 The project, at the end of 5 years, is expected to bring about the following qualitative and quantitative benefits:-

      sqre.gif (943 bytes)Organisation of 7,400 to 12,000 self-help-groups (SHGs) of about 2.14 lakh rural women and strengthening their ability to control their own affairs and to further their own development;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Increased self-esteem, confidence and self-reliance of women to address the constraints which society has imposed and is imposing on them;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Improved management and technical skills for women;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Improvement in the woman’s social status in both the family and the community;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Increased mobilization of various public and private sector services for women’s benefits;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Capacity building and strengthening of the support agencies, such as NGOs and Women Development Corporations, to enable them to be more effective in addressing women’s needs.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Orientation of financial institutions and line departments, to facilitate their sensitization to gender issues and better services to women, especially rural women;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Development of training modules and material which can be replicated and extensively used elsewhere, with such adaptations as may be warranted by the local situations;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Enhanced involvement of women in economic activities, additional income and control over it, thereby leading to upgradation of standards;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Integration of women into the social mainstream, especially in the areas of control over and/or access to finance, including credit from institutional and other sources; and

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Improvement in women’s well-being through improved conditions of living, including drudgery-removal and time-saving devices.

4.2.7 In order to properly relate with the client women, the Project was re-named as Swa-Shakti Project from the current year.

Achievements during the current year

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A contract was signed with Agricultural Finance Corporation Limited (Lead Monitoring and Evaluation Agency- LM &EA) for conducting base-line survey, design of Computerised Project Management (CPM) & Management Information System (MIS) for concurrent evaluation, review of periodic reports, and impact evaluation.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The base-line survey has commenced. It will generate information on socio-economic profile of the target group.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Work on designing CPM and MIS for concurrent monitoring and evaluation has also commenced.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) An Orientation Programme for functionaries of the Project on the World Bank Procurement procedures was held at Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad from June 4 -9, 1999. Under this programme, the participants from project states, Central Project Support Unit, Lead Training Agency and Lead Monitoring and Evaluation Agency participated.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The Planning and Project Launch Workshop was held at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi from June 28 - July 2, 1999, in which almost the entire project staff at the centre, state and district levels, partner NGOs, officials of World Bank, IFAD, National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (Lead Training Agency), Agricultural Finance Corporation (Lead Monitoring and Evaluation Agency), M/s. A.F. Ferguson & Co. (Agency for Development and Installation of financial Management System) and Educational Consultants India Limited, participated.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Joint IDA-GOI Supervision of the project was carried out thrice during this period in June 1999, October 1999 and February 2000. In the Aide Memoire for October 1999, the World Bank has stated that project implementation has accelerated considerably and agreed benchmarks of the earlier Supervision IDA Mission have been substantially accomplished. The World Bank has rated the development objective and implementation progress of Swa Shakti Project as satisfactory. The project was again rated as satisfactory in February 2000.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A training programme on preparation of Annual Action Plans and Procurement Plans under World Bank procedures was organised for project functionaries at National Society for Promotion of Development and Administration Research & Training (NSDART), Mussoorie from October 25 - 29, 1999.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The Lead Training Agency, National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development has finalised the training strategy and plan for the first 18 months of the project implementation and has conducted / organised (a) Training of Master Trainers of RWDEP, (b) Exposure visit to Madurai, Tamil Nadu to study Women’s Development Project being implemented by Women Development Corporation, Tamil Nadu and Banking with Poor Project by Dhan Foundation (c) Workshop on Gender, Research Techniques and Participatory Monitoring, (d) Exposure visit to Micro Credit Project of CARE,Ranchi, (e) Swa- Shakti Project’s Training Coordinators Meeting, and (f) Orientation course on SHGs Formation, Communication Skills and Office Procedures for Officers implementing Swa-Shakti Project, (g) Foundation Course for the Master Trainers in the Project at Ahmedabad.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The contract for Computerised Financial Management System has been signed with M/s. A.F. Ferguson & Co. on 9 November, 1999. The Draft Financial Management System Manual has already been submitted. It is expected that by the end of first quarter of 2000-2001, the Computerised Financial Management System will be fully operational in the whole of the Swa-Shakti Project.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The Department has witnessed the evolution of women’s self help groups from a modest beginning by way of isolated initiatives, to its transformation into a silent revolution - a revolution that has brought in its fold the social and economic concerns of many a woman. In this direction, the Swa-Shakti quarterly newsletter has been launched. This newsletter voices the concerns and expectations being shared at the grassroot level. It would help in restrengthening our commitment towards the bottom up approach. The newsletter would focus on the innovations and new ideas emanating from the field, under the Swa-Shakti Project.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The Central Project Support Unit of the Department has started conducting regular Monthly Meetings with State Level functionaries to facilitate trouble shooting and problem solving.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Work for developing training and resource material has also commenced.

Additional activities initiated in the states

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Against the target of 400 SHGs, 830 SHGs were formed in 1998-99. It is expected that 1450 SHGs, as targeted, would be formed in 1999-2000. Keeping in view the pace of activities in the Project States, it is expected that 2000 SHGs would be formed in 2000 - 2001.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Majority of the personnel have been deployed in the districts which are covered in Phase-I.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Partner NGOs have been identified and inducted in the districts which are covered in Phase-I.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Training of NGO Master Trainers for the districts which are covered in Phase-I, has commenced.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Selection of personnel and NGOs in the remaining districts has also commenced.

INDIRA MAHILA YOJANA (IMY)

Overview

4.3.1 Launched on 15th August, 1995 the scheme is being implemented in 238 blocks in the country for the holistic empowerment of women. The main strategy of the scheme is to create an organisational base for women to come together, to analyse and fulfill their needs through existing departmental programmes of the State and Central Governments. Till December1999, 40,000 small homogenous women groups have been formed under the scheme, out of which 3000 groups have been formed during the year under report.

4.3.2 The Indira Mahila Yojana (IMY) is a programme launched by the Government of India in August 1995 as a central sector project for the holistic empowerment of women. The vision of IMY is to develop empowered women who will:

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Demand their rights from family, community and government;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Have increased access to and control over material, social and political resources;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Have enhanced awareness and improved skills; and

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Be able to raise issues of common concern through mobilisation and networking.

4.3.3 It is premised on recognition of the fact that empowerment is a multifaceted process. It seeks to achieve this by the following objectives:

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) To generate awareness among women by disseminating information and knowledge, so as to bring about an attitudinal change;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) To help women achieve economic strength through micro-level income generating activities; and

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) To establish convergence of various services such as literacy, health, non-formal education, rural development, water supply, entrepreneurship etc.

4.3.4 The IMY is based on the idea of the strength of the Self-Help Group. The development of Indira Mahila Kendras (IMKs) at the Anganwadi level and also recognising other groups under the adult literacy programmes, health programmes and integrating them with or associating them with the IMKs at the Anganwadi level would provide the grassroot level organisations for women for various interactions. It has been proved by several experiments in different parts of the country that women’s groups become a very strong medium for accessing various kinds of information and also for bringing about attitudinal changes on several matters. The groups become a very strong mechanism for empowering women with information, knowledge and resources.

Achievements during the year

4.3.5 As reported by the states, more than 40,000 small homogenous women’s groups have been formed under the Scheme till December 1999, out of which 3000 women’s groups were formed during the period under reference.

Physical Progress
Number of Blocks sanctioned 200
Number of Blocks identified by states 238
Number of IMBS registered 280*
* In Andhra Pradesh the 14 blocks have been divided into 55 Mandals and for each Mandal one Indira Mahila Mandal Society has been registered. In Haryana though it has been sanctioned only 8 IMY Blocks they have already registered Indira Mahila Block Societies in 86 Blocks.
Groups formed 40, 000
State/Regional workshops conducted in convergence with MSY 31

Workshops

4.3.6 For the purpose of sensitising implementers of IMY at the state/district level a series of state/district level workshops have been conducted throughout the country with the assistance of National Institute of Public Cooperation & Child Development (NIPCCD). This process continued during the current year also. A total number of 27 state level workshops have so far been conducted, out of which 3 workshops for sensitization of state level functionaries of IMY were held at Guwahati , Ranchi & Hyderabad on April 18 -19, May 14-15 and June 10-11, 1999 respectively.

Resource Material Development

4.3.7 A booklet containing all the important circulars of IMY and other related information was published.

Training and Capacity building

4.3.8 The Credit and Micro-enterprise Development (CRÈME) training programme for the Child Development Project Officer (CDPOs) and representatives from Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), a collaboration of the Department for International Development (DFID), UK and Department of Women & Child Development, Government of India has been extended to this year. The in-India training of 31 persons was held at the Bankers Institute of Rural Development (BIRD), Lucknow. Of the 30, 15 persons will be going to Durham University for a 6 week training in March 27, 2000 and the other 15 will have a 15 days study tour in Bangladesh/Indonesia which is likely to be scheduled for the 2nd week of May 2000.

4.3.9 The Aus-AID assisted training-cum-workshop on Micro-financing women’s groups under India-Australia Training and Capacity building Project approved last year was continued this year. Under this project, a training programme for senior/middle level officials was conducted at BIRD, Lucknow from January 3-7, 2000. Fifteen officials comprising of Directors in-charge of Women & Child Development/DMs, faculty members from training institutions and officials from RMK and representatives from this Department were sent to Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Australia on a study tour/training from January 14 to February 6, 2000.

Women’s Empowerment Projects

4.3.10 Under the collaborative project "Training for Women Empowerment" launched in September 1998 in 21 IMY blocks of Maharashtra, a series of training programmes were organised. 3 training programmes for master trainers were held and animator training is an ongoing activity. Efforts were also made to create an information centre in each of the 21 IMY blocks in Maharashtra.

 

IMY Progress at a Glance

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) IMY is being implemented in 238 Community Development Blocks;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Majority of Indira Mahila Block Societies have been (IMBSs) registered;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) More than 40,000 groups have been formed;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) 31 State/District Level/Training of Trainers workshops have been organised throughout the country by National Institute of Public Cooperation & Child Developemnt (NIPCCD), out of this 3 were held during the year;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A proposal for recasting the scheme has been prepared in the light of the Planning Commission’s decision on merger of MSY with IMY;

Convergence:

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Linkages of STEP, NORAD, CSWB, ICDS and RMK schemes with IMY have been initiated;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) considers Indira Mahila Block Society (IMBSs) as NGO for their schemes.

Training :

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A three years collaborative training programme with Department for International Development (DFID), UK evolved for Child Development Project Officers & Programme Officers, & Non-governmental Organisations is being implemented. Under the programme, four courses were held/planned at Bankers Institute of Rural Development (BIRD), Lucknow and Durham University Business School (DUBS) in U.K and three exposure visits were organised to Bangladesh and Indonesia under the programme.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A training programme titled " Training-cum-workshop on Micro-financing Women’s Groups under India-Australia training and capacity buildig project under IMY" for senior/middle level officers was finalised with Aus-AID assistance. The first programme was started in December 1998 and 13 senior officials and national level trainers participated in it. As a follow up of this programme, one Training of Trainers programme was organised in Jammu for IMY trainers in the month of December 1999. Training for the second batch of 15 persons was organised in January-February 2000.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A project with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) assistance on Training for Women’s Empowerment under IMY was launched in 21 blocks of Maharashtra and several training programmes were organised under the project.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Workshop on Best Practices in Group Dynamics & Micro-credit was conducted.

Resource Material Development

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Handbook on IMY was published.

                    sqre.gif (943 bytes) All the important circulars of IMY and other related information were compiled. A
                     compendium containing these information will be printed soon.

New Collaborative Projects under IMY

Collaboration with CIDA

4.3.11 Discussions with Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for a collaborative project under IMY to be implemented in one or two States are in an advanced stage. As a preliminary activity, a workshop was organised from February 15-17, 2000 on Best Practices in Group Dynamics & Microcredit at Manesar, Haryana, where the leading practitioners and policy makers in this field shared their experience of micro-credit and group dynamics. About 50 delegates participated in the event. It is planned to publish a book documenting these best practices.

Asia Pacific Gender Training Assessment Meeting for National Machineries

4.3.12 The Department of Women and Child Development acted as a partner with Asian and Pacific Development Centre (APDC) recently for organising a Gender Training Assessment Meeting for National Machineries of the Asia Pacific Region held from November 16-19, 1999 at Heritage Village Manesar, Gurgaon. The meeting focused at a regional level on the following issues:

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Assessment and analysis of the effectiveness of gender training programmes;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Skills-sharing, i.e. sharing of gender training experiences with national machineries responsible for gender mainstreaming in Government; and

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Development of guidelines for gender training effectiveness for wider dissemination in the region.

4.3.13   26 participants from the various countries viz. Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, India, Republic of Korea, PDR Lao, Maldives, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Srilanka and Vietnam took part in the deliberations

Mahila Samriddhi Yojana (MSY)

4.4.1 Mahila Samridhi Yojana was started in 1993 to inculcate the habit of savings among rural women in the country. After evaluation of this scheme by Programme Evaluation Organisation and rapid evaluation of Indira Mahila Yojana, the Planning Commission advised the Department to merge both these schemes . The scheme is now being merged with Indira Mahila Yojana.

Haryana Integrated Women’s Empowerment and Development Project

4.4.2 The Project has been under implementation since July 1994 with financial assistance from the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA). The first phase of the project closed on 31st December, 1998. The second phase, to have a three-year duration, has commenced on 1st January 1999. UNFPA has committed a contribution of Rs.15.61 crore approximately for the second phase. As per the project agreement signed with UNFPA, the Department is the executing agency for the project while the Department of Women and Child Development, Haryana is the implementing agency.

4.4.3 The coverage of the project which was Mahendergarh District and 70 villages of Rewari District in the first phase has been extended to the whole of Rewari District in the second phase.

4.4.4 The components of the project are (i) empowerment of women (ii) reproductive health services (iii) enhancing capacities of women Panchayati Raj members(iv) reduction of violence against women (v) education (vi) initiatives for adolescent girls and boys (vii) gender sensitization of government departments and (viii) making a difference in knowledge, attitudes and practices of the people. The project strategy in the second phase will attempt to increase male involvement in the process of women’s empowerment and to ensure women’s ability to control her own fertility and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to procreate.

4.4.5 The Department will be holding a tripartite meeting shortly with Government of Haryana and UNFPA to review the performance of the project based on the annual project reports for 1998 and 1999.

TRAINING, EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATION

Distance Education Programme

4.5.1 Self-Help Groups have emerged as one of the major strategies for women’s empowerment and various schemes of the Government of India have shown that strong women’s groups could contribute substantially to the development and convergence of services and activities. Experience with various programmes and projects has highlighted the benefits of formation of women’s groups for building confidence and focusing on developmental tasks. Different groups in various states all over the country have focused on skill development and awareness generation, promoting economic development through income generation activities, inculcating thrift and credit management activities among poor women.

4.5.2 The experience of these schemes has shown that the sustainability of the majority of these groups was a major problem and one of the prime reasons for that was lack of a proper training strategy. Because of incomplete or ineffective training, full potential of women’s groups formed in different states could not be realised. The vast geographical canvas also impedes timely transmission of messages without distortion. The project called "Distance Education for Women’s Development & Empowerment" aims to address some of these critical areas of concern. It is the first such programme of its kind in the country.

4.5.3 The Scheme proposes to launch a certificate course by IGNOU to train a large mass of trainers from amongst village level implementers of the projects, their supervisors and district level functionaries. Such trainers, after their successful participation in the programme would be able to guide sustainable group formation work in their areas. Such an approach will also speed up the whole training process since a large number of centres could be activated simultaneously and the grassroot level trainers could be directly accessed. Considering the fact that there are about 7 lakh Government supported women’s groups in the country at present, there will be a need of about 2.30 lakhs facilitators and 11,600 supervisory level functionaries who will require training on a best case scenario.

4.5.4 The implementation of the project is being jointly undertaken by the Department of Women & Child Development, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The Department of Women & Child Development would provide support of policy direction, sharing of available material and funds for the programme. The scheme would use IGNOU’s experience in development and accreditation of software so that a standardised package consisting of self instructional print, audio and video material with tutorial support through tele-conferencing could be developed. ISRO will provide the satellite linkage for at least 80 hours per year for the programme and will arrange some of the hardware related support. There would be 7 training cycles in English and 5 cycles in Hindi.

4.5.5. The total cost of the project is about Rs.3.90 crore consisting of Rs.105 lakh towards hardware, Rs.166 lakh for software preparation and rest for printing, distribution and support services. The project also covers the installation of 150 units of receiving terminals with T.V. facilities and 250 new telephone connections at the identified centres. The following activities have been undertaken during the year :-

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Development of print material;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes)Selection of locations for installation of hardware: and

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Identification of counsellors at IGNOU.

The certificate course will be launched with effect from July, 2000. The Programme will be open to employees of various Govt. bodies, NGO and students.

4.5.6 Under this programme, an expenditure of Rs 1.40 crore is expected during the year 1999-2000. An amount of Rs 1.43 crore is proposed for 2000-2001.

Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP)

4.6.1 This programme launched in1987, seeks to provide updated skills and new knowledge to poor and assetless women in the traditional sectors, such as agriculture, animal husbandry, dairying, fisheries, handlooms, handicrafts, khadi and village industries, sericulture, social forestry and wasteland development for enhancing their productivity and income generation. This would enhance and broaden their employment opportunities, including self-employment and development of entrepreneurial skills. Women beneficiaries are organised into viable and cohesive groups or co-operatives. A comprehensive package of services, such as, extension, inputs, market linkages etc. are provided besides linkage with credit for transfer of assests.

4.6.2 Since the inception of the programme, about 4,42,145 women have been covered under 81 projects launched in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat. Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. So far, women in the dairying sector have been receiving the maximum support, keeping in view the nature of demands. This is followed by handlooms, handicrafts, sericulture and poultry.

4.6.3 In the year 1998-99, 14 projects were sanctioned to benefit 56,520 women and an amount of Rs.16 crore was released. In the following year 1999-2000, an amount of Rs.5.38 crore has been released.

4.6.4 Two new projects under STEP have been sanctioned during 1999-2000 to benefit 4500 women. State-wise break-up of projects sanctioned and the number of beneficiaries during 1998-99 and 1999-2000 are given at Annexure - III

4.6.5 A sensitization programme for the managers of new projects approved under the scheme of STEP during 1998-99 was organised in July, 1999 by the National Institute of Public Co-operation and Child Development (NIPCCD), at its regional centre, Lucknow. This programme was attended by representatives from all new projects.

Setting up of Employment-cum-Income Generation-cum-Production Units (NORAD)

4.7.1 The programme launched in 1982-83 with NORAD ( Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation) aims to improve the lives of poor women. Under this programme, financial assistance is given to Women’s Development Corporations, Public Sector Corporations, autonomous bodies and voluntary organizations, to train women in mostly non-traditional trades and to ensure their employment in these areas. Some of the trades are electronics, watch assembling, computer programming, garment making, secretarial practices, community health work, embroidery, weaving, etc. Financial assistance is given to the grantee organization for hiring of training-cum- production sheds, training costs, stipend to the trainees and for training in machinery and equipment.

4.7.2 The upper ceiling for assistance under this Scheme is normally confined to Rs. 8000/- per beneficiary.

4.7.3 Since 1982-83 when the NORAD assisted programme was started, 1477 projects benefiting 2.28 lakh women have been approved. Since 1996-97, the assistance by NORAD has been supplemented with domestic resources. An agreement was signed between the Government of India and Government of Norway on 13th November 1997 for the extension of the assistance provided by the Norwegian Government for the next 5 years. As per the agreement, an amount of NOK 38 million (equivalent to about Rs. 20 crore) is to be provided by the Norwegian Government under the Scheme for the years 1997-2002. The present position is that the share of the Norwegian Government constitutes about 33% of the total outlay under this scheme. However, this scheme continues to be popularly known as ‘NORAD’ scheme.

4.7.4 State wise break-up of projects sanctioned and the number of beneficiaries during 1998-99 and 1999-2000 is at Annexure-IV

4.7.5 For better monitoring of training projects sanctioned under the NORAD scheme, the State Women Development Corporations have been involved. These Corporations are supposed to conduct pre-appraisal of project proposals before recommendation and mid term monitoring and evaluations of sanctioned project proposals.

ATTITUDINAL CHANGE TOWARDS THE GIRL CHILD

Balika Samriddhi Yajana (BSY)

4.8.1 The scheme of Balika Samriddhi Yojana was launched on 2nd October, 1997 with the objective of raising the overall status of the girl child and bringing about a positive change in family and community attitudes towards her. The scheme covers up to two girl children born on or after 15th August, 1997 in a family living below the poverty line as defined by the Government of India, in any rural or urban area.

4.8.2 During 1997-98 and 1998-99, the mothers of the newborn girl children covered under the scheme were given a grant of Rs.500/- each in cash. The benefits have been redesigned in the current financial year (1999-2000). The post-delivery grant of Rs.500/- will now be deposited in an interest-bearing account in a bank or post office in the name of the girl child. In addition, the girl child will now be entitled to receive scholarships for each class of study successfully completed by her, ranging from Rs.300/- for Class I to Rs.1,000/- for Class X. The scholarship amounts will also be deposited in the above account. The accumulated value of the deposits in the account will be payable to the girl child on her attaining the age of 18 years and having remained unmarried till then.

4.8.3 The benefits can also be utilized to pay the premium on an insurance policy in the name of the girl child under the Bhagyashree Balika Kalyan Bima Yojana and for purchase of textbooks or uniforms for the girl child.

4.8.4 The scheme, under which releases were made by the Department to district-level implementing agencies in 1997-98 and 1998-99, will now be implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme and funds will be released to State Governments and Union Territory Administrations for execution of the scheme, largely through the ICDS infrastructure.

4.8.5 A sum of Rs.40 crore has been allotted for the scheme in BE 1999-2000.

National Plan of Action for SAARC Decade of the Girl Child, 1991-2000 AD

4.9.1 National Plan of Action for the Girl-Child is under implementation since November, 1992.

4.9.2 Implementation of the Plan of Action is an inter-ministerial effort. The concerned Ministries/Departments of Government are responsible for implementing the points of the Plan of Action through their girl-child specific or girl-child related programmes. In other words, targets/goals laid down in the NPA are to be achieved by different Ministries/Departments like Health, Education, Labour, etc. In view of this, an Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee of Secretaries was constituted in 1993 to review the progress of implementation of the National Plan of Action. The Committee meets at regular intervals for the purpose.

Sixth Meeting of Commonwealth Ministers Responsible for Women’s Affairs

4.10.1 The meeting is now scheduled to be held in New Delhi from 16-20th April 2000. Ministers for Women’s Affairs from 52 Commonwealth Countries are expected to participate in the meeting, which would deliberate upon the updated Commonwealth Plan of Action on Gender and Development.

SUPPORT SERVICES

Working Women’s Hostels (WWH)

4.11.1 Under the Scheme of ‘Construction /Expansion of Hostel Building for Working Women with a Day Care Centre’ implemented by the Department of Women and Child Development, financial assistance is given to voluntary organizations, local bodies and cooperative institutions engaged in the field of women’s social welfare, women’s education, Public Sector Undertakings, Women Development Corporations, , Educational Institutions and State Governments for the construction of hostels for working women in order to enable women to seek employment and participate in technical training. The objective of the Scheme is to provide cheap and safe hostel accommodation to employed women living out of their homes. The target beneficiaries are single working women, widows, divorcees, separated women and working women whose husbands are out of town. Women getting training for employment and girl students studying in post school professional courses are also eligible to stay in the hostels.

4.11.2 During the year 1998-99, an amount of Rs. 7.73 lakhs has been sanctioned under the Scheme. During the year 1999-2000, an amount of Rs. 5.10 crores has been sanctioned so far. (till 25 February,2000). 7 new hostels have been constructed during the year 1999-2000 to benefit 630 women. Out of the seven hostels sanctioned, day care facilities have been provided in four hostels to benefit 110 children. State/UT-wise distribution of Working Women’s hostels with Day-Care Centres(DCC) for Children up to 4.2.2000 is given at Annexure -V

Short Stay Homes for Women and Girls

4.12.1 The Government of India launched a programme in 1969 in the Central Sector called the Short Stay Homes for Women and Girls to protect and rehabilitate those women and girls who are facing social and moral danger due to family problems, mental strains, social ostracism, exploitation or other causes. The services extended in these homes include medical care, psychiatric treatment; casework services, occupational therapy, education - cum - vocational training and recreational facilities.

4.12.2 The need for providing Short Stay Homes for women and girls has been due to the changing pattern of life, rapid urbanisation and industrialisation and the resulting migration from rural to urban areas. The break-up of social institutions like the joint family, contributes considerably in creating problems of adjustment for women and young girls. Cases of marital conflict and emotional disturbances also occur. This scheme is meant to help the women to rehabilitate themselves within a short period of time. These Short Stay Homes have been established by voluntary organisations.

4.12.3 In the beginning of the current financial year, 272 Short Stay Homes received grants from the Department, covering approximately 8,160 beneficiaries.

4.12.4 The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has recently approved a proposal for revision of the norms and financial patterns of the scheme. The recurring cost as per the changed norms will now be Rs. 4,01,350 per Home per annum in ‘C’ class city with a one time non-recurring cost of Rs. 50,000. There is also a provision for some increase in subsequent years on the component of rent and the maintenance cost for residents. Provisions have also been made for upgrading skills and capacities of staff and residents as well as education of the children of residents.

4.12.5 During the year, the work of implementation of existing Short Stay Homes has been transferred to the CSWB. Sanction of new homes has been retained with the Department and a new Project Sanctioning committee has been constituted to evaluate and approve new proposals.

4.12.6 The following activities were taken up during the current year:

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) By the end of 15th February 2000, 36 new Short Stay Homes have been sanctioned in the country. Some of these Homes were opened for the displaced persons from Indo -Pakistan border in J&K and the victims of super cyclone in Orissa;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Two training programmes, one in Calcutta and another in New Delhi were organised during the year to train the functionaries of different Short Stay Homes;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) In order to popularize the scheme and involve established NGOs in its implementation, a major advertisement campaign was launched which has resulted in considerable response from NGOs;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) In order to facilitate implementation of the scheme in a standardized manner throughout the country, an implementers manual is being prepared. This manual is expected to be finalised by June 2000; and

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The application format for submitting new proposals has been completely revised and made more user friendly.

4.12.7 A provision of Rs. 11.42 crore (Rs. 9.52 crore under Plan and Rs 1.90 crore under Non - Plan (RE) has been made.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND THE LAW

Education Work for Prevention of Atrocities on Women

4.13.1 Linked with social advocacy and legal literacy issues, this programme started in 1982, provides financial assistance to voluntary organisations working for the upliftment and betterment of women and for the prevention of atrocities against women, for items such as propaganda, publicity and research work. Production of publicity materials like pamphlets, booklets, hoardings, posters, slogans, surveys/studies on particular aspect of violence/atrocities against women qualify for financial assistance under this scheme. As the majority of the activities under the scheme are being covered by the Central Social Welfare board under their Awareness Generation Scheme, the funds under the scheme will be made available to the Board.

National Commission for Women (NCW)

4.14.1 The National Commission for Women, a statutory body, set up under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 has a mandate to safeguard the rights and interests of women. The Commission continued to pursue its mandated activities, namely review of laws, interventions into specific individual complaints of atrocities and remedial action to safeguard the interests of women. The Commission has accorded highest priority to securing speedy justice to women.

4.14.2 The Commission has been instrumental in introducing fresh ideas, innovative models, training packages, models for speedy justice etc. The Commission has, before it, apart from looking into the law and legislation for effecting improvement to ensure speedy justice, thrust areas in the realm of:-

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Organising Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalats throughout the country on a continuous basis.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Launching of programmes on Legal Awareness;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Sensitisation programmes for police, NGOs, and officials for better implementation of safeguards and laws for the benefit of women;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Release and rehabilitation of women prisoners;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Rehabilitation of prostitutes and their children;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Rehabilitation of widows and support to the anti-arrack movement.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Custodial justice for women prisoners;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Participation of women in the electoral process;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Issue of violence on Women

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Technological Empowerment of Women in Agriculture

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Rights of minority Women.

4.14.3 The Commission maintains the Complaints Cell/Counseling Cell which is a "Core" Unit of the Commission and processes various categories of written/oral complaints and also take suo-moto notice of matters relating to deprivation of women’s rights, non-implementation of laws enacted to provide protection to women, non-compliance of policy decisions, guidelines or instructions aimed at mitigating hardships to women and taking up issues arising out of such matters with appropriate authorities. The complaints received relate to harassment for dowry, dowry deaths, torture, desertion, bigamy, rape, refusal to register FIR by the police, discrimination in employment, domestic violence, incest, and cruelty by husbands and in-laws.

REVIEW OF LAWS AFFECTING WOMEN

‘Beijing Plus Five’ Review

4.15.1 The Fourth World Conference on Women which was held in Beijing, China during September 1995 had adopted a ‘Beijing Declaration’ and a ‘Platform for Action’ (PFA) as an agenda for women’s empowerment. The PFA calls upon the Governments, the international community and civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to take strategic action in twelve critical areas of concern, namely, women and poverty, education and training of women, women and health, violence against women, women and armed conflict, women and the economy, women in power and decision making, institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women, human rights of women, women and the media, women and natural resources & environment and the girl-child.

4.15.2 A special session of the UN General Assembly will be held at the United Nations, New York in June 2000 to review and assess the status of implementation of the PFA, five years since the Beijing Conference.

4.15.3 The Department has initiated the process of review of the progress made in the country in the implementation of the PFA. Besides collecting information from various other Ministries/Departments of the Government and the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations, a feedback questionnaire was sent to NGOs active in the field of gender justice and women’s empowerment to obtain information on their work in the field and their perception of the scenario.

4.15.4 The Beijing Plus Five India Country Report is presently under preparation.

4.15.5 The following other significant activities have been held in this connection:-

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A SAARC Workshop on Follow-up Action on the Fourth World Conference on Women was held in New Delhi on 28th and 29th September 1999 in which all the SAARC countries participated.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A High Level Intergovernmental Meeting was held by ESCAP in Bangkok, Thailand from 26-29 October 1999 to review the regional implementation of the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action in the Asia and the Pacific. A six- member inter-ministerial delegation from India led by the Secretary DWCD participated in the meeting.

The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

4.16.1 India ratified the Convention in July 1993 with one reservation and two declaratory statements. India’s first report on implementation of the provisions of the Convention (which is available on the Internet) was presented and considered at the UN on 24th and 31st January 2000 by the CEDAW Committee consisting of 23 members. The report covers initiatives taken by government to ensure gender equality in various fields.

ERADICATION OF COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF WOMEN & CHILDREN.

4.17.1 The Government has finalized a Plan of Action to combat trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of women and children. The State Governments and UT Administrations have been requested to implement the Plan of Action. The progress of implementation of the Plan of Action will be monitored by the Central Advisory Committee. All the State Governments/UT Administrations have been requested to send the implementation report.

4.17.2 The Central Advisory Committee on Child Prostitution proposed certain amendments in the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act to make it more stringent and effective. The recommendations made by the Central Advisory Committee in this regard are being consolidated for approval by the Government.

4.17.3 India has drafted a Regional Convention on prevention and combating trafficking of women and children for the purposes of prostitution. The Convention seeks to take measures and encourage cooperation among the SAARC member countries to prevent the incidence of trafficking; this is specially relevant because Nepal and Bangladesh are the major source areas. The Convention is expected to be signed in the next SAARC Summit.

4.17.4 A Work Plan under the GOI-UNICEF MPO has been finalized. Funds have been earmarked for various activities such as projects for rehabilitation of victims of prostitution, preparation of manual for sensitisation of police officers, building of a data base on the subject matter of prostitution and trafficking, holding of regional level meets for interaction with State Governments close to source areas and NGOs.

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GUIDELINES CONTAINED IN SUPREME COURT’S ORDER IN THE CASE OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF WOMEN AT THE WORKPLACE AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS.

4.18.1 The Hon’ble Supreme Court in its order dated 13.8.1997 passed an order laying down the norms and guidelines to be followed by the employers for tackling the incidents of sexual harassment of women at the workplace and other institutions. The guidelines issued by the Supreme Court included setting up of a complaints redressal forum in all workplaces and amendment of the disciplinary/conduct rules governing employees by incorporating the norms and guidelines. The Department has circulated the Supreme Court’s order to all Ministries/Departments of the Government of India, Women Development Corporations and National Commission for Women for compliance. A Complaints Committee for handling the complaints regarding sexual harassment of women at workplace has been constituted in the Department in compliance of the directions of the Supreme Court.

NATIONAL POLICY FOR THE EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN

4.19.1 As a follow up action to the commitments made by India during the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing during September, 1995, the Department has drafted a National Policy for the Empowerment of Women after nation-wide consultations to enhance the status of women in all walks of life on par with men and actualize the constitutional guarantee of equality without discrimination on grounds of sex. The comments/views of the concerned Central Ministries/Departments. The process of consultation has been completed and action is being taken to obtain Cabinet approval.

REVIEW AND AMENDMENT OF THE LEGISLATION RELATING TO WOMEN

4.20.1 The Department of Women and Child Development is reviewing the following four Acts with which it is administratively concerned, with a view to make the provisions more stringent and to remove lacunae:

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition)Act, 1886.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987.

4.20.2 The Department of WCD had entrusted the work of reviewing the Indecent Representation of Women(Prohibition) Act, 1986 and Immoral (Traffic) Prevention Act, 1956 to the National Law School of India, University (NLSUI), Bangalore. The reports received from the National Law School in this regard were been sent to NCW for comments. On the basis of the comments received from NCW with regard to the amendments suggested by the National Law School of India in the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956, the Department has prepared a draft Cabinet Note, which will be circulated to the concerned Ministry/Departments. The comments of NCW with regard to the NLSUI’s report on the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 has been received and the matter is under examination. With respect to the other two legislations, namely, Dowry Prohibition Act and Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, inter-ministerial consultations are being held to bring about the amendments.

REHABILITATION OF MARGINALIZED WOMEN OF VRINDAVAN

4.21.1  The Central Government has set up a Committee under the Chairpersonship of Minister of State for Women and Child Development to co-ordinate the efforts of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal Governments and Central Government organizations for rehabilitation of the marginalized women of Vrindavan, to monitor flow of benefits of various Schemes to the target group; to recommend a plan of Action and implementation schedule for their rehabilitation etc. The Committee consists of Chairpersons of NCW and CSWB, Secretaries of the Department of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Department of Youth Affairs & Sports, Director General of Nehru Yuvak Kendra Sangathan, Joint Secretary(WD), Department of Women and Child Development, Chief Secretaries of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, besides representative of voluntary organizations and activists in the field. Meetings were called by the Department of Women and Child Development (on 17.5.1999 in New Delhi, on 29.5.1999 in Vrindavan and on 5.8.1999 in New Delhi) to identify action points for rehabilitation of the marginalized women in Vrindavan. A meeting was also held under the Chairpersonship of MOS, WCD on 2nd March 2000.

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Chapter 5
Child Development
 

5.1.1 India is home to more than 15 crore children below six years of age, the largest number for any country in the world. The nation has a great responsibility to bring these children up as healthy, responsible and capable citizens. During the last five decades, the Govt. has accorded the highest priority to children in the development programmes, so as to meet their challenging needs and rights, and bring them into the mainstream. Our commitment towards children is evident from the constitutional provisions, including the Directive Principals of State Policy. A number of policies have been adopted especially for children. The government has also enacted legislation to reaffirm its commitment to the cause of child survival, growth and development. Moreover, over the years, there has also been a massive expansion of administrative machinery and infrastructure for child development.

5.1.2 The First Five-Year Plan (1951-56) laid the foundation of balanced socio-economic development and this was the beginning of Planned Child Welfare and Development. The Second Five-Year Plan (1956-61) aimed at an improvement in the living standards, increase in production and diminution of economic and social inequalities. Thus we moved towards strengthening the Child Welfare System. India went on to its Third Five Year Plan(1961-66) with an increased emphasis on Intersectoral Coordination of Services for Children. The Fourth Five year Plan (1969-74) focused on accelerating the tempo of development with a high priority on child welfare efforts and promoting Basic Minimum Services for Children, culminating finally in the adoption of a National Policy for Children in 1974. The Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-79) saw a shift in focus from child welfare to child development and an emphasis on Integration and Coordination of Services by launching the Integrated Child Development Scheme during the year (1975). The Sixth Five Year Plan (1980-85) reiterated the approach and strategy outlined in the Fifth Plan, and promoted consolidation and expansion of the programmes started earlier. This was the era of Strengthening of Child Welfare and Development. The Seventh Five year Plan (1985-90) led to Spatial Expansion and Enrichment of Child Development Services through programmes in different sectors. The focus of the Eighth Five Year Plan (1992-97) was on human development through Advocacy, Mobilisation and Community Empowerment. The Government has declared its commitment to ‘every child’, in the Ninth Plan (1997-2002). The challenge is to reach every young child and his/her family, especially the disadvantaged, with the active participation of the community to promote holistic development and growth.

Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme

5.2.1 The ICDS programme was launched on 2 October 1975, in 33 blocks of the country. The Scheme has gradually expanded and at present covers 4200 projects. The State-wise list of operational ICDS projects is at Annexure-VI.

5.2.2 The Government approved the continuation of the ICDS scheme in the existing 4200 blocks/urban pockets with phased expansion of the scheme in 390 additional blocks, upward revision of financial norms and enhancement in quality improvement inputs during the remaining years of IXth Plan period. In consonance with the decision of the Government, 130 additional projects are to be operationalised in each year from 1999-2000 to 2001-2002. A proposal to sanction 130 projects during the current year is under submission, which will extend ICDS services to 13 lakh additional beneficiaries every year during the remaining Ninth Plan period.

Objectives

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) To improve the nutritional and health status of children below the age of six years.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) To lay the foundation for the proper psychological, physical and social development of the child.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) To reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropouts.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) To achieve effective coordination of policy and implementation among various departments to promote child development.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) To enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child, through proper health and nutrition education.

5.2.3 In addition to children below six years of age, ICDS takes care of the essential needs of pregnant women and nursing mothers residing in socially and economically backward villages and urban slums.

Services and Participants

5.2.4 The child-centered approach of ICDS is based on the rationale that care, psychosocial development and the child’s health and nutritional well being mutually reinforce each other. The principal beneficiaries under the scheme, that is, children below six years, expectant and nursing mothers and women in the age group 15 to 45 years, avail the service of supplementary feeding, growth monitoring and promotion, immunisation, health check-ups, referral services, nutrition and health education and early childhood care and pre-school education. In addition, there is coverage of other important supportive services such as safe drinking water, environmental sanitation, women’s development and education programmes. The number of beneficiaries under the ICDS Scheme has significantly increased over the years. As against 227 lakh beneficiaries including 189 lakh children and 38 lakh women beneficiaries in March 1997, ICDS today reaches out to 309 lakh beneficiaries including 55.9 lakh expectant and nursing mothers and 264.86 lakh children (under six years of age), of disadvantaged groups. Of these, nearly 127 lakh children (three to six years of age) participate in centre-based preschool education activities.

5.2.5 The programme offers a powerful community based outreach system that functions as the convergent interface between the disadvantaged communities and government programmes such as primary health care and education for improved childcare, early stimulation and learning, health and nutrition, water and environmental sanitation targeting young children, expectant and nursing mothers and women’s/ adolescent girls groups. They are reached through more than 5,00,000 trained community-based Anganwadi Workers and an equal number of helpers, a supportive community structure/ women’s groups through the Anganwadi Centre, the health system and the community. ICDS provides increased opportunities for promoting early development, associated with improved enrolment and retention in the early primary stage by releasing girls from the burden of sibling care, and enabling them to participate in primary education.

(A) Nutrition

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Growth Monitoring and Promotion

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Supplementary Feeding

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Nutrition and health education (NHED).

Growth Monitoring and Promotion

5.2.6 Growth monitoring and nutrition surveillance are two important activities that are in operation at the field level in ICDS. Both are important for assessing the impact of the health and nutrition related services. Children below the age of three years are weighed once a month and children from three to six years are weighed quarterly. Fixed-day immunisation sessions or days when mothers come to take home rations for younger children (below two years of age) are used as opportunities for growth monitoring. In ICDS, weight-for-age growth cards are maintained for all children below six years. Their growth chart is maintained to detect growth faltering and assess their nutritional status.

5.2.7 Growth monitoring and promotion helps the mother/family and AWW/ANM in taking timely, cost effective preventive action, to arrest any stagnancy or slipping down in weight, through early detection of growth faltering. Through discussion and counseling, growth monitoring also increases the participation and capabilities of mothers in understanding and improving childcare and feeding practices, for promoting child growth. It helps families understand better the linkages between dietary intakes, healthcare, safe drinking water, environmental sanitation and child growth. Growth monitoring and promotion can thus also be an effective entry point for primary healthcare.

5.2.8 Recently, the concept of community-based nutrition surveillance has been introduced in ICDS. A community chart for nutrition status monitoring is maintained at each Anganwadi. This chart reflects the nutritional status of all children registered with the Anganwadi, at any given point of time - helping the community in understanding what the nutrition status of its children is, why it is so and what can be done to improve it. This mobilises community support in promoting and enabling better childcare practices, by contributing local resources and in improving service delivery and utilisation.

Supplementary Feeding

5.2.9 The nutrition component of the package of services offered under ICDS includes supplementary Nutrition, nutrition and health education and prophylaxis against nutritional anaemia and Vitamin ‘A’ deficiency. The scheme provides supplementary nutrition to needy children and to expectant and nursing mothers from low income families for 300 days a year. The aim is to supplement nutritional intaken by 300 calories and 8-10 grams of proteins for children, 600 calories and 20 grams of protein for severely malnourished children and 500 calories and 20-25 gram protein for expectant and nursing mothers.

5.2.10 This pattern of feeding aims only at supplementing and not substituting for family food. It also provides an important contact opportunity with pregnant women and mothers of infants and young children, to promote improved behavioral actions for the care of pregnant women and young children. Specifically, it serves to reinforce the key message to promote appropriate and timely complementary feeding at home, for infants who are four to six months of age, with a full diet for young children by the age of one, and continued breast feeding up to two years.

5.2.11 The type of food varies from State to State, but usually consists of a hot meal cooked at the Anganwadi, containing a varied combination of pulses, cereals, oil, vegetables and sugar. Some States provide a ready-to eat meal, containing the same basic ingredients. There is flexibility in the selection of food items, to respond to local needs. The expenditure towards supplementary feeding is met by the State under the Plan budget, available for Minimum Needs Programme. Food supplements are provided to pregnant women and nursing mothers (up to six months of nursing), to help them meet the increased requirements during this period. This provides a crucial opportunity to counsel pregnant women, enabling utilization of key services i.e. antenatal care, iron folic acid supplementation and improved care during pregnancy. Pregnant women and nursing mothers are also counseled to promote exclusive breastfeeding of infants up to about six months of age. They are encouraged to seek timely immunization and commencement of appropriate and timely complementary feeding.

5.2.12 Special care is also taken to reach children below the age of two years, and to encourage parents and siblings to either take home ration, or to bring them to the Anganwadi for supplementary feeding. The take-home ration is a contact opportunity for growth monitoring and promotion of children under two years of age and nutrition counseling of mothers, for improved childcare and feeding practices.

5.2.13 The national prophylaxis programme for prevention of blindness caused by vitamin A deficiency, and control of nutritional anemia among mothers and children, are two direct interventions integrated in ICDS. Dietary promotion is an important part of nutrition health education and targeted supplementation is provided. At nine months of age, 100,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin A solution is administered to infants, along with immunisation against measles. Children in the age group of one to five years receive 200,000 IU of vitamin A solution every six months, with priority to children under three years of age.

5.2.14 Tablets of iron and folic acid are administred to expectant mothers for prophylaxis and treatment and to children with anemia. These supplements are dispensed by AWW/ANM, who monitor their utilisation. The usage of only iodized salt is promoted, especially in the food supplement provided.

Nutrition and Health Education

5.2.15 Nutrition, Health and Education (NHED) is a key element of the work of the Anganwadi worker. This has the long term goal of capacity building of women - especially in the age group of 15-45 years - so that they can look after their own health and nutrition needs as well as that of their children and families. All women in this age group are expected to be covered by this component.

5.2.16 Anganwadi workers use fixed-day immunization sessions, mother-child days, growth monitoring days, small group meetings of mothers/Mahila Mandals, community and home visits, village contact drives and other women’s groups meetings (DWCRA, Mahila Samakhaya etc.), local festivals/ gatherings for nutrition and health education. Presently there are nearly 1,00,000 Mahila Mandals which are actively involved in extending nutrition and health education activities.

5.2.17 All efforts are made to reach out to women, including pregnant women and nursing mothers. Sustained support and guidance has to be provided in the period spanning pregnancy and early childhood, to mothers of young children, building upon local knowledge, attitude and practices.This helps promote antenatal care, maternal nutrition, exclusive breastfeeding of infants of four to six months of age, timely immunisation, introduction of timely and appropriate complementary feeding at home. NHED also promotes appropriate prevention and management of diarrhoeal diseases (through ORT and continued feeding) and management of acute respiratory infections, to promote child growth.

(B) Health

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Health Care

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Immunisation

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Treatment of minor illness

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Referral Services.

Health Care

5.2.18 This includes: (i) Ante natal care of expectant mothers; (ii)Post natal care of nursing mothers and care of new born infants; and (iii)Care of children under 6 years of age. The various health services provided for children by AWWs and PHC staff include regular health check-ups, recording of weight, immunization, management of malnutrition, treatment of diarrhoea, deworming and distribution of simple medicines etc.

5.2.19 At the Anganwadi, children, adolescent girls and pregnant women and nursing mothers are examined at regular intervals by the Lady Health Visitor (LHV) and Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) who diagnose minor ailments and distribute simple medicines. They provide a link between the village and the Primary Health Care Sub-centre. Maternal and child health facilities are geared towards providing adequate medical care during pregnancy, at the time of childbirth and subsequently. It is aimed at reducing complications during pregnancy and reducing prenatal mortality.

Immunisation

5.2.20 Immunisation of pregnant women against tetanus and immunization of infants against six vaccine-preventable diseases - poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, tuberculosis and measles - protects children from these diseases. These are major preventable causes of child mortality, disability, morbidity and related malnutrition. Immunisation of pregnant women against tetanus also reduces maternal and neonatal mortality.

5.2.21 The PHC and its subordinate health infrastructure carries out immunisation of infants and expectant mothers as per the national immunisation schedule. Children are also given booster doses. The AWW assist the health functionaries in coverage of the largest population for immunization. She helps in the organisation of fixed-day immunisation sessions. She maintains. immunisation records of ICDS beneficiaries and follows it up to ensure full coverage.

Referral Services

5.2.22 During health check-ups and growth monitoring, sick or malnourished children in need of prompt medical attention are provided referral services through ICDS. The AWW has been oriented to detect disabilities in young children. She enlists all such cases in a special register and refers them to the medical officers. The effectiveness of this service depends on timely action, co-operation from health functionaries and the willingness of families to avail of these services. The Health Department in States/UTs identifies one hospital at the district level, which attends to the referral cases coming from the ICDS areas.

(C) Early Childhood Care And Pre-school Education

        sqre.gif (943 bytes) Early Childhood Care

        sqre.gif (943 bytes) Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Care and Pre-school Education

5.2.23 Early Childhood Care and Pre-school Education under ICDS includes non formal pre-school education which is a crucial component of the package of services envisaged under ICDS. It aims at universalisation and qualitative improvement of primary education in remote and socio-economically backward areas with special attention being given to girls. The Early Childhood Care and Pre-school Education (ECCE) component of the ICDS may well be considered the backbone of the ICDS programme, since all its services essentially converge at the AW. This is also a joyful play way activity sustained for three hours. It brings and keeps young children at the Anganwadi Centre and motivates parents and communities. ECCE, as envisaged in the ICDS, focuses on the total development of the child, in the age range of up to six years, from the underprivileged groups. It includes promotion of early stimulation of the under-threes through intervention with mothers/ caregivers. Child-centred play way activities, which build on local culture and practices, using local support materials developed by Anganwadi workers through enrichment training, are promoted. The early-childhood pre-school education programme, conducted through playway methods, aims at providing a learning environment for the promotion of social, emotional, cognitive, physical and aesthetic development of the child. Through ICDS, nearly 127 lakh children (3-6 years of age), from disadvantaged groups, are participating in centre-based pre-school play-way activities.

5.2.24 The ECCE component of the ICDS is a significant input for providing a sound foundation for development. It also contributes to the universalisation of primary education, by preparing the child for primary schooling and offering substitute care to the younger siblings, thus freeing the older ones - especially girls - to attend school.

5.2.25 For this, improved coordination between the Anganwadi centres and primary schools, in terms of timings, location and supportive linkages between the Anganwadi worker and primary school teacher are being promoted.

Expenditure on ICDS

5.2.26 Alongside gradual expansion of the Scheme, there has been a significant increase in the Central Government’s spending on implementation of the scheme during the 8th Plan period. As against the expenditure of only Rs. 1190.21 crores during 17 years i.e. 1975-76 to 1991-92, the expenditure during the 8th Plan period was 2271.28 crores. During 1998-99 against the provision of Rs. 603.14 crores in BE the central expenditure was to the tune of Rs.795.84 crores. During 1999-2000 against a provision of Rs. 855.76 crores in BE, the expenditure incurred up to February 2000 has been to the tune of approximately Rs. 850.86 crores. A statement showing state-wise funds released under ICDS during the year 1999-2000 is at Annexure-VII.

Monitoring of ICDS

Management Information Systems

5.2.27 The ICDS programme is characterised by an in built monitoring system for promoting assessment, analysis and action at different levels, at which data is generated. A central cell established in the Department collects and analyses periodic work reports. Based on this, programme strategies are refined, and timely interventions made - ensuring effective programme planning, implementation and monitoring. A national ICDS Management Information System (MIS) working group facilitates this process. Each State Government has an MIS coordination cell. Districts with more than five projects also have an ICDS monitoring cell, at the district level, to facilitate programme monitoring. The implementation of ICDS is closely monitored at regular intervals, with an emphasis on functional monitoring. Corrective actions at different levels flow from such monitoring which continues to evolve and improve the quantity and quality of the feedback and to generate prompt and appropriate action. Similar implementation, monitoring and evaluation are done by the health and social welfare sectors through an inter sectoral approach at the project, district and state levels.

5.2.28 MIS ensures a regular flow of information and feedback between each Anganwadi and the project, between the ICDS project and the State Government, and between the State Government and the Govt. of India. The flow of information is not only upwards - it is a two-way process and constitutes the basis for discussion and improved action, at the level at which it is generated. This is done through a Monthly Progress Report (MPR) and a Monthly Monitoring Report (MMR).

5.2.29. Under the National Plan to monitor ICDS, Anganwadi workers compile standardised monthly and half-yearly reports based on their register data. These reports are forwarded through supervisors to Child Development Project Officers (CDPOs) who are responsible for forwarding the reports (MPRs) to the State and Central ICDS Cells at the Department of Women and Child Development. MPRs quantify the status of key input, process and output indicators pertaining to the major components of ICDS service delivery, which can be used to manage operations.

5.2.30 Through monthly review meetings of ICDS and health functionaries at various levels - block, district, division and state - both MMRs and MPRs are discussed, for promoting joint action. Efforts are underway to strengthen this process further.

5.2.31 DWCD compiles computerized quarterly monitoring reports from the CDPOs. A State level performance statement is prepared of 8 indicators, comparing the performance of each state with the national performance. Copies of these reports are also sent to the Planning Commission, Prime Minister’s Secretariat, National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD) and other Ministries/ Organisations involved in the ICDS Programme. Quarterly status reports and performance reports are sent to the State’s nodal departments for taking necessary corrective action.

5.2.32 The Department of Women and Child Development have installed a micro-computer, and application software has been developed on MIS for ICDS programme. The data in the prescribed format of CDPOs MPR from some of the States has started flowing through this electronic medium. Recently, the Department has developed a format for state level consolidated monitoring reports to strengthen the monitoring system of ICDS at the State level. Information in this regard has started coming from the States.

ICDS Scheme: It’s Strengths & Impact

5.2.33 The impact of ICDS, has been quite dramatic on the health of the participant families. As a service delivery programme, the ICDS has certain unique features, which constitute its areas of strength as enumerated below:

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The programme is village based and conducted by workers (anganwadi workers & helpers), who are normally residents of the same village;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The Anganwadi Worker is supposed to maintain close contact with individual households of the village, thus taking away the impersonal bureaucratic approach.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The programme enlists the active help and participation of voluntary organizations, social activists, academic institutions and professionals;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) There is a built-in scope for convergence of Health, Nutrition and Childhood Education Services at the Anganwadi level;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Two-thirds of the population covered by the ICDS programme comprises of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other backward communities;

5.2.34 ICDS scheme has been subjected to intensive research continuously. The impact of the programme is evident from: (a) Decrease in prevalence of malnutrition among pre-school children; (b) Improvement in the nutritional status of the children; (c) Improved immunisation coverage; (d) Decrease in IMR and (e)Improvement in school enrolment and reduction in school dropout rate (source : National evaluation of ICDS, NIPCCD 1992).

5.2.35 The most important impact of the Scheme is clearly reflected in significant declines in the levels of severely malnourished and moderately malnourished children and Infant Mortality Rates (source: National Evaluation of ICDS, NIPCCD 1992). The percentage of children suffering from severe malnutrition has significantly declined from 15.3% during 1976-78 to 8.7% during 1988-90 (figures published by National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau). The Infant Mortality Rates have declined from 80 per 1000 live births in 1991 to 72 during 1998 (provisional estimates) (Sample Registration System, October 1999).

5.2.36 NCAER is currently engaged in a major nation wide evaluation of ICDS, covering about 4000 blocks in all States/Union Territories. This nationwide evaluation study of ICDS Scheme was undertaken through a number of research organisations under the umbrella cover of National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), The Pilot study, which commenced in July 1996, was carried out in ten ICDS Blocks in five states of Gujarat, H.P., Karnataka, U.P and West Bengal. Considering the usefulness of the results of the pilot study, a national ICDS evaluation study has been entrusted to NCAER. The National report of the survey is expected in April 2000.

Reaching the Adolescent Girls

5.2.37 ICDS, with its opportunities for early childhood development, seeks to reduce both socioeconomic and gender inequities. In order to better address concerns for women and the girl child, it was necessary to design interventions for adolescent girls. This is aimed at breaking the intergenerational life cycle of nutritional disadvantage, and providing a supportive environment for self-development.

5.2.38 For the first time in India, during 1991-92, a special intervention was devised for adolescent girls, using the ICDS infrastructure. This intervention focuses on school dropouts, girls in the age group of 11-18 years, to meet their needs of self-development, nutrition, health, education, literacy, recreation and skill formation.

5.2.39 It was felt that while programmes existed for young children in the age group 6 months to 6 years (through the ICDS), the young girls in the age group 6-11 years (through the Formal Schooling System) and for mothers (through ICDS and MCH), there was no specific programme catering to vast section of unmarried school drop-out adolescent girls in the age group of 11-18 years.This scheme was, therefore introduced, as an integral part of ICDS, in 507 selected blocks to bridge this gap and to achieve the following objectives :

sqre.gif (943 bytes) to improve the malnutrition and health status of girls in the age group of 11-18 years;

sqre.gif (943 bytes) to provide to them the required literacy and numeracy skills through the non-formal stream of
         education, to stimulate a desire for more social exposure and knowledge and to help them
          improve their decision making capabilities;

sqre.gif (943 bytes) to train and equip adolescent girls to improve and upgrade home-based skills;

sqre.gif (943 bytes) to promote awareness of health, hygiene, nutrition and family welfare, home management and child care, and to take all measures to facilitate their marrying only after attaining the age of 18 years and if possible, even later.

5.2.40 The adolescent girls scheme was designed to include 2 sub-schemes viz. Scheme- I (Girl to Girl Approach) and Scheme-II (Balika Mandal). The Scheme-I has been designed for adolescent girls in the age group of 11-15 years belonging to families whose income level is below Rs. 6400/- per annum. Under the Girl to Girl Approach (Sub-Scheme I), all adolescent girls in the age group of 11-15 years belonging to families whose income level is below Rs. 6400/- per annum in rural areas are eligible for receiving services such as hands on learning experience at the Anganwadi Centres while being attached to the Anganwadis for a period of 6 months, education sessions, health check-up and supplementary nutrition. Under this Scheme, 12 girls are identified in every anganwadi village in a year.

5.2.41 The Balika Mandal (Sub-Scheme II) is designed for the girls in the age group of 11-18 years. In each block, ten percent of the Anganwadi Centres implementing Scheme-I (i.e. Girl to Girl Approach) are selected to serve as "Balika Mandals". The existing anganwadi centres are used for the activities of the Balika Mandal. The Balika Mandal Programme is drawn up in a participative manner keeping the interests and skills of girls in mind with a view to ensure that the enrolled girls actively participate, and these girls and their families perceive these activities as beneficial. On an average, an adolescent girl participates in the activities of Balika Mandal for a period of 6 months. Each Balika Mandal caters to about 40 adolescent girls in a year and the activity components include learning, through sharing experiences, training of vocational skills/agro-based skills and household related appropriate technology. In addition supplementary nutrition is also provided to the adolescent girls enrolled in Balika Mandals.

5.2.42 This scheme attempts to mobilise and enhance the potential of adolescent girls as social animators. It also seeks to improve their capabilities in addressing nutrition and health issues-through centre-based instructions, training camps and hands-on learning as well as sharing of experiences. So far, about 3.50 lakh adolescent girls have been provided with vital services aimed at improving their nutritional and health status and enabling their self-development. A statement showing state-wise number of adolescent Girls covered under the scheme is at Annexure-VIII.

5.2.43 There has also been persistent demand from the States on the urgent need to provide cover of ICDS to adolescent girls in all the ICDS Projects as programmes aimed at improving the nutritional and health status of adolescent girls and promoting self-development, awareness of health, hygiene, nutrition, family welfare and management. It is well recognised that this could significantly improve the health and nutritional status of women and children and promote the decision making capabilities of women. During January, 2000 approval of CCEA has been obtained to further expand the Adolescent Girls scheme in 1493 additional blocks during the remaining Ninth Five Year Plan period.

New Initiatives

5.2.44 A number of new initiatives have been taken during recent years to strengthen the impact of ICDS which are enumerated below;

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Management of Disability in ICDS: ICDS constitutes the largest outreach programme for reaching the young child of disadvantaged communities including the one in ten child affected by, or likely to be affected by impairment and disabilities.The need and scope for integrating prevention and early detection of childhood disabilities with ICDS services have long been a major concern of DWCD. The earliest guidebook for anganwadi workers included the topic of prevention and detection on early childhood disabilities among children. It has been decided that the anganwadi workers will suitably be trained to discharge their functions in the following spheres: i) Prevention of disability, ii) Early detection, iii) Creation of awareness; and iv) Making appropriate references etc. Simple check lists have been provided in anganwadis for detecting early childhood disabilities like blindness, speech & hearing disabilities, mental retardation, locomotor impairment etc.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Community Partnership: The 73rd and the 74th constitutional amendments have created vibrant new partnerships to reach the most disadvantaged and undeserved and the most vulnerable young child. In some States, devolution of powers to Panchayati Raj institutions has also involved the transfer of some functions of managing and monitoring ICDS to district Zilla parishads, block Panchayat Samitis and Gram panchayats. This constitutes a major opportunity for rooting development programmes more firmly in the community with the active participation of women. The Gram Panchayat will help to create a supportive environment for childcare, by enlisting better team work from frontline workers, (ANMs, AWWs, school teachers) to ensure convergence of services. It will also help promote the participation of communities, in understanding the needs of children and women and finding local ways to respond to them. The department has recently initiated steps for the constitution of Baal Vikas Mahila Samitis at village, block and district levels, with representatives from women Panchayat members, NGOs and ICDS functionaries. This is for integrated community-based monitoring of all programmes for women and children, especially the ICDS.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Strengthening the processes for Women’s Empowerment: Mobilising women for promoting their own health, nutritional well being and self-development as well as that of their children is an underlying principle of ICDS. This was further strengthened by the introduction of the ICDS adolescent girls’ scheme in 507 blocks.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Opening of Mini-Anganwadis to cover remote and low populated hamlets: To cover the small hamlets/villages in the country in Tribal Blocks having less than 300 population and situated in far flung areas where the beneficiaries might be deprived of the benefits of the Scheme, and to provide benefits of the Scheme to each and every child who is entitled to it, it has been decided by the Department to open Mini-Anganwadis in small hamlets/pockets in Tribal Blocks which are in far flung and in remote areas. It is proposed that 10 Mini Anganwadi Centres can be opened in lieu of a full-fledged Anganwadi. There may be one main Anganwadi out of 10. A Mini Anganwadi can be proposed for a population of 150 in a village/hamlet. It should be located within one km from the main Anganwadi and there should be 15 to 20 beneficiaries therein. A Woman/adolescent girl is made responsible for distribution of ration to beneficiaries. An honorarium of Rs.50/- to be paid to Mini Anganwadi worker who provides cooked hot food to the Anganwadi beneficiaries. The maintenance of 10 Mini anganwadi is managed within the cost of Anganwadi norms of Rs. 11,200/- p.a. The provision of nutrition is to be ensured by the State Government from their own resources. Uptil now, 1881 mini-Anganwadi Centres have been sanctioned in tribal blocks of Maharashtra, 25 mini-anganwadi centres in Andhra Pradesh, 1708 in the tribal blocks of Orissa and 2878 mini-anganwadi centres were sanctioned in Madhya Pradesh under World Bank Assistance.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Integration of Ayurveda and Indian system of Medicines in ICDS Scheme: The issue of inclusion of Ayurvedic medicines in Medicine Kits given to Anganwadis under ICDS Scheme was undertaken during this year. Instructions have been issued to State Directors of Ayurveda to further instruct ISM&H doctors to regularly visit AWCs in rural and remote areas. A list of simple home remedies for common ailments and a list of Ayurvedic medicines to be included in the Medicine Kits being procured by this Department are supplied to AWCs. A training module for AWWs in Ayurveda and Ayurvedic concept of life style is being developed which can be fitted in to the basic training course meant for AWWs.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Reaching the Unreached: Some of the new community-based, locally relevant approaches developed to reach the unreached are : Poriyawadis in Madhya Pradesh, urban day care for migrant construction workers in Rajasthan and mini anganwadi centres to reach scattered tribal hamlets.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Decentralisation as a flexible response to women and child care: Area specific programme strategies were developed to achieve the National Plan of Action for Children goals and fulfill young children’s right to survival, growth, development and protection.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Fostering innovations: Enhanced support for piloting and experimenting new approaches to care of women and children, focusing on the pre-natal under three-years age group.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Addressing gender disparities across the life cycle: Redesigning ICDS training to address gender issues, reaching out to the community and other partners, and use of child - friendly techniques such as ‘Meena’.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Focus on preventing low birth weight and malnutrition, as early as possible, across the life cycle: Village contact drives and other community mobilization efforts in many states including Rajasthan, Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Improving training quality: Udisha is the Rs. 600 crore nationwide training component of the Women and Child Development Project. Developed through a participatory process, it is now effective, with state training plans in all states and union territories.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Promoting early joyful learning: Enhanced support for innovative training of functionaries; early play/learning support material in all anganwadi centres and convergence with DPEP

Learning from Experience

5.2.45 The ICDS experience since 1975 has taught several valuable lessons with greater applicability to the development of human resources:

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Community- based women workers can be effective and viable instruments of human resource development, if these workers are supported with training guidance and necessary material inputs.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) An integrated approach, including a package of mutually supportive services, is more cost effective and efficient than individual services delivered separately.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Community ownership is fundamental to improved programme quality, impact and sustenance.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Flexibility in responding to local patterns of women’s work and time is critical for reaching younger children more effectively.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The ICDS type of network makes it feasible and easier to apply new simple technology on a large scale.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) The flow of human and material inputs has to be planned in detail and monitored very carefully, with community participation.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Field experience needs to be continuously reviewed and utilized for strengthening training.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Need for continuous enrichment of training and development of standardized training modules with focus on core items.

Looking Ahead: The Vision

Setting up of the National Committee for Reviewing Benefits/facilities Being Provided to Anganwadi Workers and Helpers

5.2.46 In the State Ministers and Secretaries conference of the Department of Women and Child Development held during July, 1998, the Minister of Human Resource Development stated that a Committee will be constituted with definite terms of reference for going into the whole gamut of issues affecting the service conditions of the Anganwadi Workers and helpers and exploring the avenues for increasing the honoraria being paid to Anganwadi Workers and Helpers.

Therefore, a National Committee was set up in the Department of Women and Child Development to take stock of the service conditions and duties of the Anganwadi Workers and Helpers and to identify the involved Ministeries/Departments/States which can provide additional remuneration to the Anganwadi Workers and helpers functioning under the centrally sponsored ICDS Scheme. Besides the representatives of the concerned Central Department, representatives of some State Govts. which have taken initiative to increase the honoraria of Anganwadi Workers have also been included in this Committee. The Committee was set up under the chairpersonship of Joint Secretary, DWCD, and is in the process of finalising its Report.

Setting up of a National Committee to celebrate the completion of 25 years of implementation of ICDS scheme

The Integrated Child Development Scheme has entered its 25th year on 2nd October 1999, completing a quarter of a century of rich programme experience. This is an opportune time to reflect on the achievements as well as challenges and opportunities for early child development in the new millennium. A Committee under the Chairpersonship of the Joint Secretary has been set up in the Department to celebrate the completion of 25 years of the ICDS scheme. This will contribute to a nationwide quality enrichment initiatives for ICDS and the emerging national vision for the young child in the 21st century.

ICDS booklet released by the Hon’ble Minister of HRD, GOI on 14th November 1999

The booklet outlines a new rights based vision for the young child in the 21st century, rededicating ICDS to promoting early childhood care for survival, development, protection and participation. The vision is drawn from the rich experience of state specific innovations and quality improvement initiatives.

Moving Towards Universalisation

5.2.47 The experience of ICDS during the last two and a half decades has the potential of bringing about a silent revolution and is a profound instrument of enhancing community and human resource development. The scheme has witnessed an expansion that is unprecedented. Over the years, it has responded flexibly to different area-specific situations and local community needs, through evolving State specific programme strategies. The commitment to achieve universal coverage of ICDS in the new millennium, is reflected in increased Central plan and State Government allocation for ICDS. The approved provision for the scheme during the Ninth Five Year Plan (1997-98 to 2001-2002) is Rs. 4979.88 crores. From the 4200 sanctioned ICDS projects (as of March, 1999), it is proposed to scale up to more than 5,000 projects in a phased manner. Steps are also proposed to increase the number of sanctioned anganwadi centres in older existing ICDS projects, based on block population estimates of the 1991 census.

A Vision for young children in India in the 21st century

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Ensuring the best possible start to life of the young child to learn, to do, to live together and to be.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A common understanding of Early Child Development as an entry point for India’s human development strategy, where a good start of life within a nurturing family environment is the basic foundation for the child’s future growth and development.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A comprehensive Child-centred approach which respects cultural patterns and diversity and which takes into consideration the health, nutritional, cognitive, emotional and social needs of the child. An approach driven by "the best interests of the child".

      sqre.gif (943 bytes)A family focused approach, which empowers families as the first line of action in providing care and protection and encourages shared parenting and caring responsibilities.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A community based approach, which is locally relevant, and is conceived, planned and managed by the community. One that leads to a community-based mechanism to monitor and track childcare and development, especially for families and children at risk.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A gender sensitive approach that seeks to ensure the realization of the rights of girls and women, through focused interventions across the life cycle, and especially in early childhood.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Creating an enabling joyful learning environment for the young child in the family, community, and at childcare centres.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Flexible, locally relevant interventions that respect cultural diversity.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Promoting preventive approaches to malnutrition and disability- intervening as early as possible, across the life cycle, ensuring early childhood care for survival, growth, development, protection and participation.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Focusing on the more crucial and vulnerable age group in the prenatal to under 3 years period.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Especially addressing children and families/communities that are disadvantaged, most vulnerable and at risk.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) An equity norm, which entitles every family to claim access to quality childcare interventions and support.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Ensuring that children can realize their full potential in health, learning and earning, as respected and informed citizens, able to participate in decisions which affect their lives.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Ensuring that realization of child rights flow from, and contributes to the growth of cohesive and inclusive societies.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) A rights perspective, wherein every child’s rights to survival, development, protection and participation are fulfilled, through new partnerships of parents, communities, civil societies and governments to meet their obligations to children.

5.2.48 ICDS is a resource for development and a tool for social change. In the coming years, ICDS needs to be strengthened to be a vehicle for empowering the community and creating an environment for child survival, protection and development. The challenge is one of broadening the spectrum of the ICDS package of services, spatial expansion of the programme with enrichment of its content. There is a need for convergence of more essential services to make the programme effective.

A few Success Stories of the ICDS scheme are given at Annexure-IX.

World Bank Assisted ICDS Projects

5.3.1 There has been substantial progress in human development since independence in our country but still more than half of our children under four years of age are moderately or severely malnourished. Malnutrition and other early childhood deprivations not only affect the lives of individuals and families, but also reduce the returns on investment in health, education and poverty alleviation and act as a major barrier to social and economic progress and overall, better life chances.

5.3.2 The World Bank has supported early childhood development efforts in India since 1980 though several projects, viz. Tamil Nadu Integrated Nutrition Project - I (TINP-I) in 1980-89, TINP-II Project in 1990-97, ICDS-I Project in 1991-97, ICDS-II Project in 1993-2000, ICDS-APER in 1998-2004 and the ICDS-III/Women and Child Development Project in 1998-2004.

5.3.3 The above projects have helped in better targeting, improvement of family nutrition and health practices, strengthening of maternal and child services and improvement of the quality of pre school education. The recently effective ICDS-III Project has laid special emphasis on improving service quality through (a) focus on the under three year old children (b) targeting the most needy and marginalised households, (c) improving overall health/nutrition coordination by supplementing supply of drugs (iron-folic acid and deworming drugs for adolescent girls), improving health referral services (d) improving growth monitoring and promotion (e) effectively reaching supplementary feeding to under 3s and severely malnourished children and (f) improving Early Childhood Education. This, together with improved community participation, women’s empowerment (adolescent girls component), training, communications, and quality program management (quality circles, award/incentives etc.) form the core of the service quality improvement strategies.

5.3.4 The World Bank has committed an investment of about US $750 million since 1980 to the Early Childhood Development which is the largest in this area for any country. The details are as follows: -

I. Tamil Nadu Integrated Nutrition Project - I (TINP-I)(1980-89)

5.3.5 TINP-I was implemented in 173 blocks in 16 districts of Tamil Nadu and a population of over 10 million was served. The Project emphasized growth monitoring through monthly weighing of all children 6-36 months old, in order to target delivery of health, nutrition and food supplementation and to educate mothers for better caring-feeding practices. A total of US $ 32 million was received as IDA credit. This was a State sector project.

II. Tamil Nadu Integrated Nutrition Project-II (TINP-II)(1990-97)

5.3.6 TINP-II was implemented in 318 blocks in 19 districts and IDA credit of US $ 67.5 million was utilised.

III. ICDS-I Project (1991-97)

5.3.7 The project was implemented in the States of Andhra Pradesh (110 blocks, in 13 districts) and Orissa (191 blocks in 12 districts). The population served in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa was 12.9 million and 9.5 million respectively. This was the first World bank assisted ICDS project in India. The project disbursed a total of US $ 74.3 million and helped to expand ICDS to a large number of tribal blocks in both states and also supported infrastructure development viz. Construction of Anganwadi Centres (AWC’s), Child Development Project office buildings and installation of handpumps and standard supplies. The project has had many success stories. In Andhra Pradesh under the women’s empowerment component a very large number of women were trained in masonry. In both the states, the women income generation component also achieved good success. Innovation in Adolescent Girls Scheme and training of ICDS functionaries was introduced.

IV. ICDS-II Project (1993-2000)

5.3.8 The project is currently being implemented in the States of Bihar (210 blocks) and Madhya Pradesh (244 blocks). The total outlay is Rs. 596.2 crores (Madhya Pradesh Rs.339.1 crores, Bihar Rs.257 crores). So far Rs. 180.2 crores and Rs.270.8 crores have been released to Bihar and Madhya Pradesh (December 1999) respectively. The approved IDA credit is US $ 194 million. Despite a slow start the project has picked up very well in both States. The expansion of ICDS scheduled under the project has been achieved and a large number of civil works completed. The service quality improvement is being addressed through improved health/nutrition coordination (joint training) and improved decentralised pre service and in service training of functionaries besides improved physical inputs. Comparison of the National Family Health /Survey (1992-93) data with NFHS (1999) and India Nutrition Profile (1998) data indicates that there has been improvement in Bihar in growth and survival indicators over the life of the project.

V. ICDS-III/Women and Child Development Project (1998-2004)

5.3.9 The World Bank Assisted ICDS-III project covers the five states of Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. The approved IDA (World Bank) credit over the project period is US $ 300 million (including nationwide training component). It is proposed to cover 1003 blocks with 318 new blocks where ICDS would be introduced and 685 old blocks where the services would be enriched. The year wise details are
as follows:-

  YEAR WISE PHASING OF ICDS BLOCKS UNDER ICDS III PROJECT

Sl. No.

State Year I  (1998-2000) Year II  (2000-2001) Year III  (2001-2002) Total Grand Total
Old New Old New Old New Old New
1. Uttar Pradesh 100 20 90 30 - 60 190 110 300
2. Tamil Nadu 318 - - - - - 318 - 318
3. Maharashtra 74 54 - 45 - - 74 99 173
4. Rajasthan 66 32 - 34 - - 66 66 132
5. Kerala 37 20 - 23 - - 37 43 80
  Total 595 126 90 132 - 60 685 318 1003


 

 

 

 

The total outlay of the project (including the training component) is Rs. 1000.11 crores. To date Rs. 75.90 crore has been released to the state for project implementation. The details are as follows: -

Sl. NO

State Allocation Fund released so far(upto 31.12.1999)
1. Kerala 152.45 10.31
2. Maharashtra 281.00 24.48
3. Rajasthan 190.67 12.99
4. Tamil Nadu 86.95 11.61
5. Uttar Pradesh 274.37 16.51
6. CPMU 14.67 -
  Total  1000.11 75.90

  5.3.11 The project would support all costs for the expansion and incremental operation costs for the old blocks. The project components are as follows: -

(i) Service Delivery : Service Quality Improvement, Women’s Empowerment, staffing and Infrastructure development.

(ii) Programme Support: Management and Institutional Development, Community Mobilisation and IEC, Training, Monitoring and Evaluation.

The project is in the first year of implementation and the preparatory activities are in progress.

VI. ICDS-APER Project (1998-2004)

5.3.12 The ICDS component of the Andhra Pradesh Economic Restructuring Programme was approved in March 1999. It covers a total of 251 blocks inclusive of 143 new blocks, universalising ICDS in the rural and tribal areas and in the 108 old blocks which were not covered under ICDS-I project for quality improvement. The total outlay is Rs.392.75 crores with IDA (World Bank) credit of US $ 75 million. The Government of India has so far released Rs.79.4 crores (till 31.1.2000). The project has made satisfactory progress and is on a fast track as far as construction activities are concerned and the women are being oriented to work as social mobilizers for reaching project development objectives and outcomes. The procurement and distribution of supplementary feeding is being decentralised with greater community involvement in monitoring at the village level.

WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME PROJECT 2206

5.4.1 World Food Programme (WFP), a United Nations ageny, under its Project 2206 extends food aid for supplementary nutrition to children below six years of age and to expectant and nursing mothers under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme. There is a Country Programme (CPI) for India for a five-year period from 1st April 1997 to 31st March 2001. The WFP Project 2206 has already completed six phases from March 1976 to 31st March 1999.

5.4.2 The Plan of Operations for Expansion Phase VII of WFP Project 2206 was signed between the Government of India and the WFP on 1st June, 1999 for a period of three years to cover beneficiaries in the six States of Assam, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and the new State of Orissa taken up under WFP assistance with effect from 11 November, 1999. In addition to this, 3500 MTs of food is also available from Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) assistance for the State of Rajasthan, which will cover an additional 2.30 lakh beneficiaries. Accordingly, revised allocation of 54,900 MTs of food for a total of 31.72 lakh beneficiaries has been distributed amongst the WFP assisted States up to 31 December, 2000 as follows:

Sl.No. Name of the State Revised allocation during 1.4.99 to 31.3.200
    No. of Beneficiaries (in lakh) Food Commodity (in MTs)
1. Assam 1.72 2,650
2. Kerala 4.31 8,500
3. Madhya Pradesh   7.20 12,300
4. Rajasthan* 6.80* 10,400*
5. Uttar Pradesh 8.34 15,650
6. Orissa** 3.35** 5,400**
  Total 31.72 54,900

 

      * This includes 3500 Mts Canadian International Development Agency (CID) assistance for the State of Rajasthan to cover 2.30 lakh beneficiaries.

      ** Orissa was included as WFP assisted (new) state w.e.f 11.11.1999.

5.4.3 WFP is providing a single micronutrient fortified blended food - either Corn Soya Blend (CSB) or locally produced Indiamix which is cooked with jaggery and condiments to suit local tastes. The CSB is being imported through the Ports of Cochin, Calcutta and Jamnagar. The Department of Women and Child Development, Government of India is reviewing WFP Project 2206 biannually in the meetings of the Food Aid Advisory Sub Committee (FAASC).

5.4.4 WFP also gives assistance for the following non-food programmes:

(i) The Better Health and Nutrition (BHN) Project (with a total cost of Rs.175.67 lakhs) is being implemented in Sirohi and Udaipur districts in the State of Rajasthan since March, 1997. The project is in collaboration with CARE India. The project’s aim is to improve the nutritional status of women and children and reduce the rates of malnutrition and mortality.

(ii) Improving Child Survival through the ICDS (with a total cost of Rs.81.65 lakh) in Banswara district of Rajasthan is in operation since December 1996. The project mainly aims to reduce the extent of childhood malnutrition through a campaign on timely initiation of complementary feeding and increased convergence of ongoing women and child development programmes.

CARE- INDIA ASSISTED PROGRAMMES

5.5.1 The Government of India signed an agreement with CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere) on 6th March 1950. The primary purpose of this agreement is to facilitate and maximize voluntary gifts of food commodities by individuals and organisations in India. The Department of Women and Child Development, Government of India is the nodal Department for implementation of CARE-India’s programmes. The implementation of CARE-India’s programmes is carried out by the State Governments implementing the ICDS programme. CARE-India assisted programmes have been broadly classified in two parts (i) Food Programmes and (ii) Non-Food Programmes.

FOOD PROGRAMMES

5.5.2 CARE-India extends food aid for supplementary nutrition to children below six years of age and to pregnant and nursing mothers in the ICDS programme. In accordance with the List of Provisions (LOP) approved for 1999-2000, CARE-India has committed to supply food aid to 66.05 lakh beneficiaries distributed in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The food commodities include vegetable oil and a highly nutritious blend of corn and soya. These are cooked with other food items such as jaggery and condiments to make the food tasty and acceptable. CARE food is received in India at the ports of Calcutta, Vizag, Jamnagar and Paradeep. State-wise beneficiaries and food allocation is given below:

Sl.
No
State

No.of . Beneficiaries
(in lakh)

Food Commodity (in MTs )
1. Andhra Pradesh 7.87 21,249
2. Bihar 8.86 23,922
3. Madhya Pradesh 9.82 26,514
4. Orissa 12.16 32,832
5. Rajasthan 6.44 17,388
6. Uttar Pradesh 9.97 22,732
7. West Bengal 10,93 29,511

NON-FOOD PROGRAMMES

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) CARE-India’s Integrated Nutrition and Health Programme (INHP) is being implemented in all the seven CARE assisted States. The Project is in operation for a period of five years with effect from April, 1996 to March, 2001 A.D. with a total budget of Rs.113.16 crore aiming to improve the health and nutritional status of women and children by directing resources and efforts to achieve those changes in health behavior which lead to a reduction in mortality and malnutrition. State level advisory groups have also been set up in each of the seven States to facilitate implementation.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Improving Women’s Reproductive Health and Family Planning Project in the State of Uttar Pradesh for a period of five years with a total budget of Rs.3.22 crore. The project is in operation in two districts of Uttar Pradesh, namely, Sitapur and Shahjahanpur. The project aims to empower women to make informal decisions about their reproductive health including the number and spacing of children.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Improving Women’s Health in Urban Slum Project in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh has completed its implementation phase for a period of six years with a total budget of Rs.89.65 lakh with an aim to significantly reduce mortality among 28,000 women (15-45 years) in 65 of the neediest authorized slums of Allahabad. Community based women’s reproductive health care services are created and extended, along with increased proficiency of Private Medical Practitioners (PMPs) and public sector personnel in providing reproductive health care. CARE India has proposed for an extension of this project for another term of five years with an estimated cost of Rs.3.42 crores. The proposal is under consideration by this Department.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Improved Health Care for Adolescent Girls in Urban Slums Project in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh for a period of six years with a total budget of Rs.2.22 crores. The project aims at a significant reduction in the morbidity and mortality associated with reproductive health among adolescent girls, both unmarried and married, in the slums of Jabalpur.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Girls Primary Education (GPE) Project for a period of five years with a total budget of Rs.6.80 crore in the States of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The project’s aim is to increase girls’ access to education in collaboration with local NGO’s and community groups.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Credit Rotation for Empowerment and Development Through Institution Building and Training (CREDIT) Project for a period of five years with a total cost of Rs.11.22 crore. The proposal is a joint venture of the WFP and CARE-India. The project proposes to expand the savings and credit portfolio of rural women in partnership with local NGOs in the State of Orissa.

      sqre.gif (943 bytes) Maternal and Infant Survival Project with Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) assistance is in operation in the State of Madhya Pradesh with an aim to improve the health and nutritional status of women and children in five Blocks in Hoshangabad Division and six Blocks in Bhopal Division. The total cost of the project is estimated at Rs.19.66 crore for a period of two years and six months with effect from 22 October 1998.

UDISHA, the ICDS Training Programme

5.6.1 UDISHA, which in Sanskrit means the first rays of the new dawn, is the nation wide training component of the World Bank assisted Women and Child Development Project. The aim of UDISHA is to develop all functionaries into agents of social change, as people who can shape situations and who can act positively at all times. UDISHA recognizes parents and communities as the ultimate link in the training chain where behavioral change must take place to promote care, development and active learning of the young child.

5.6.2 It envisages a key transformation in approaches to the training of child-care functionaries and caregiver education. This is through a holistic approach to the young child, reflected in a new child centered curriculum that is structured along the life cycle and development continuum of the child. Greater emphasis is placed on addressing the development needs of the prenatal and the under three-year-old child. The emphasis is on locally responsive participatory learning and action processes.

5.6.3 UDISHA seeks to address the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of children, by promoting a convergence of actions in the areas of health, nutrition, early learning and better parenting. It also promotes affirmative action to raise the status of women and support improved care of women and girls as well as enhanced involvement of men and families in childcare. UDISHA is seen as an important element in empowering child-care workers, parents and communities for a continuous process of assessment, analysis and informed action - to promote the fulfillment of young children’s rights in the communities in which children live, grow and develop.

5.6.4 The functionaries trained in the programme include the Anganwadi Workers, Supervisors, Additional Child Development Project Officers (ACDPOs), Child Development Project Officers (CDPOs), Medical Officers (MOs) and paramedical staff. Training institutions include the National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD), its three Regional Centres, Middle Level Training Centres (MLTCs) and Anganwadi Workers Training Centres (AWTCs) run by voluntary organizations in cooperation with the State Governments.

Training of Anganwadi Workers/Helpers

5.6.5 For imparting training to Anganwadi workers, the grassroots level functionaries of the scheme, there are 470 Anganwadi Workers Training Centres (AWTCs) in the country. AWTCs are being opened at the request of the State Government/UT based on their requirement.

5.6.6 Anganwadi Workers initially receive three-months basic job training, followed by monthly visits from a medical team and subsequent refresher courses. Refresher training is imparted after one-and-a-half years. In 1998-99, 33412 Anganwadi workers were trained. During 1999-2000, 26,926 Anganwadi workers have been trained upto September 1999.

Training of Supervisors

5.6.7 For imparting training to Supervisors, the middle-level functionaries of the scheme, there are around 39 Middle Level Training Centres (MLTCs) in the country, which are academic and professional institutions, in the government or voluntary sector. The three regional centres of NIPCCD at Lucknow, Guwhati and Bangalore also act as MLTCs. Training is imparted to Supervisors to help them acquaint themselves with various components of the scheme, and in developing appropriate skills in supervision, and programme management. Refresher training is imparted after one-and-a-half years. In 98-99, 933 Supervisors were trained. During 1999-2000, 571 Supervisors have been trained up to November 1999.

Training of Additional Child Development Project Officers (ACDPOs) and Child Development Project Officers (CDPOs)

5.6.8 The training of CDPOs/ACDPOs is conducted by NIPCCD at its headquarters at New Delhi, its three regional centres and at approved State Institutes. On joining service, CDPOs/ACDPOs are given job training of two-months, followed by a refresher training of a week’s duration, on completion of two years’ service. During the training, efforts are made to familiarize them with various aspects of the ICDS Scheme, including organizational and administrative structures, with special emphasis on field training and placement in rural, tribal and urban ICDS projects. In 1998-99, 384 CDPOs/ACDPOs were trained. During 1999-2000, 214 CDPOs/ACDPOs have been trained.

Training of Instructors

5.6.9 NIPCCD conducts courses for orientation/refresher training of instructors of MLTCs. MLTCs conduct training for instructors of AWTCs.

5.6.10 UDISHA has an outlay of Rs. 600 crore over a five-year period from 1999. UNICEF is a technical collaborator in the programme, which was declared effective on 4 October 1999. During the year 1998-99, an amount of Rs. 40 crore was released. Under the UDISHA programme, an amount of Rs. 25 crore (approx) has so far been released during the year 1999-2000 for the implementation of this programme.

5.6.11 Project Launch workshops were held with the State Nodal officers in Manesar, Haryana from 16-18 July 1999 & from 23-25 July 1999 and for the State Directors dealing with UDISHA at Goa on 27-28 July 1999.

5.6.12 A National level meeting of State/UT nodal officers in charge of UDISHA was held at Goa on 28-29 January 2000, and of State Directors in Udaipur on 15-16 February, 2000.

5.6.13 Under UDISHA, the Government of India nominated three officers of the Department to attend the International Course on Food and Nutrition Programme Management organized by the International Agriculture Centre at Wageningen, the Netherlands from 17th October 1999 to 27th November 1999.

CRECHES/DAY CENTRES FOR CHILDREN OF WORKING/AILING MOTHERS

5.7.1 The Central Sector scheme of running Creches/Day Care Centres was started in 1975 in pursuance of the priority objectives of the National Policy for Children adopted in 1974. It aims to provide day care services for the children (0-5 years) of mainly casual, migrant, agricultural and construction labourers. The children of those women who are sick or incapacitated due to sickness or suffering from communicable diseases are also covered under the scheme which is framed to cater to the very low economic groups. Only those children whose parents’ total monthly income does not exceed Rs.1800/- are covered under the scheme. The services available to the children include sleeping and day-care facilities, supplementary nutrition, immunization, medicine, entertainment and medical check-ups.

5.7.2 The scheme is being implemented by the Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB) through voluntary social welfare organisations, and by two other national level voluntary organisations, namely, the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) and Bharatiya Adim Jati Sevak Sangh (BAJSS) all over the country.

5.7.3 The scheme was started in 1975-76 with 247 creche units covering 6,175 children. The scheme has expanded since then and it now covers about 12,470 creche units covering around 3.11 lakh beneficiaries. Each unit normally caters to about 25 children. The implementing organisation receives 90% of the total expenditure according to a schematic pattern, except the honorarium of Ayabs/Helpers, for which a lumpsum of Rs.800/- per month per unit is given. The schematic pattern of budget for a crèche centre for 25 children provides for a grant-in-aid of Rs.18, 480/-. The non-recurring grant per centre is Rs.4,000/-. In addition to this, a grant of Rs.2, 000/- is also available for reimbursement of non-recurring expenditure at an interval of every five years. During the current Financial Year, a budget provision of Rs.17.00 (RE) crore (Rs.13.15 crore Non-Plan and Rs.3.85 crore Plan) has been made under the scheme.

NATIONAL CRECHE FUND

5.8.1 The National Creche Fund was set up on 21.3. 1994 with a Corpus Fund of Rs.19.90 crore made available out of the Social Safety Net Adjustment Credit of World Bank to meet the growing requirement of opening more crèche centres.

5.8.2 The scheme envisages that 75% of the centres to be assisted by the National Creche Fund would be general creches and 25% of centres would be Anganwadi-cum-Creche centres. The general creches assisted by the NCF would be on the pattern of the Creche scheme of the Department of Women and Child Development and would provide children below five years services which would include day-care facilities, supplementary nutrition, immunization, medical and health care and recreation. Children of parents whose monthly income does not exceed Rs.1800/- are eligible for enrolment. The scheme is being implemented through Voluntary Organisations/Mahila Mandals. The financial norms for the National Creche Fund (NCF) are the same as that for the creches under the scheme of Assistance to Voluntary Organisations for Creches for Working and Ailing Mothers. The voluntary organisations/Mahila Mandals selected for opening the creches are required to open creches in schools or in places close to schools, in rural and urban slum areas dominated by SCs/STs. The Voluntary organisations/Mahila Mandals are encouraged to involve the community in the implementation of the scheme so that the creches become self-supporting.

5.8.3 25% of the centres to be assisted by the NCF would be Anganwadi-cum-Creche Centres which would be run by the same agency which runs the ICDS Scheme, which in most cases is the State Government. The Anganwadi-cum-Creche Centre works for eight hours a day. Each Anganwadi -cum-Creche Centre receives assistance of Rs.8,100/- per crèche per annum under a schematic pattern of assistance. This includes honorarium to two crèche workers per crèche @ Rs.600/- per month and contingency and emergency expenditure @Rs.75/- per month.

5.8.4 A token provision (BE) of Rs.1.00 lakh has been made for the year 1999-2000 under NCF. 2455 creches (1856 general creches and 599 Anganwadi-cum-Creche Centres) have been sanctioned under the NCF.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

5.9.1 The Early Childhood Education (ECE) Scheme was started in 1982 as a distinct strategy to reduce the school drop out rate and to improve the rate of retention of children of the age group of 3-6 years in primary schools.

5.9.2 The scheme is being implemented in nine educationally backward States viz. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Under the Scheme, financial assistance amounting to Rs. 7980/-per centre per annum is given to voluntary organizations for running the ECE Centres. This includes the honorarium to be paid to teachers. The scheme is a non-expanding one and is being continued only in the areas not covered by the ICDS centres. During 1999-2000, grants to the tune of Rs. 90.61 lakhs were released (up to February 2000) for running 1149 ECE Centres in non-ICDS areas in above States.

BALWADI NUTRITION PROGRAMME

5.10.1 The Balwadi Nutrition Programme is being implemented since 1970-71 through the Central Social Welfare Board and four national level voluntary organizations, Bhartiya Adimjati Sevak Sangh, Indian Council for Child Welfare, Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust and Harijan Sevak Sangh, which extend assistance to local voluntary agencies for implementing the programme. The Balwadi Nutrition Programme aspires to meet the very basic nutritional requirement of a child in the age group of 3-5 years by ensuring that she/he is provided with 300 calories and 12-15 gms of protein every day.

5.10.2 Under the scheme a grant of Rs. 17,220/- is given per Balwadi Centre per annum. The scheme is a non-expanding one and is being continued only in the areas not covered by the ICDS Centres. During 1999-2000, grants to the tune of Rs. 57.82 lakhs were released (up to February 2000) to Voluntary Organisations for running 336 Balwadis in Non-ICDS areas.

NATIONAL CHILDREN’S BOARD

5.11.1 The National Policy for Children, 1974 envisages the creation of a National Children’s Board under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister to function as a focus and forum for planning, review and proper co-ordination of the multiplicity of services aimed at meeting the needs of children. The Board was initially set up in December 1974 with the Prime Minister as its Chairman. The Board is now under consideration for reconstitution.

STATE RECOGNITION FOR VOLUNTARY ACTION

Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award for Service to Children

5.12.1 This Award was instituted in 1994 in the memory of the late Prime Minister to honour an individual who makes outstanding contribution towards service for children. The Award carries a cash prize of Rs.1.00 lakh, a silver plaque and a citation.

5.12.2 The National Selection Committee, headed by HRM, selected Shri Anantrai K. Shah of Bhavnagar, Gujarat, for this Award in 1998. The Award was conferred by the Secretary, WCD on behalf of the Minister on 15th April, 1999.

5.12.3 The National Selection Committee has selected Smt. Sukalikar of Nagpur, Maharashtra for the Award in 1999. This was declared on 20th August, 1999, the birth anniversary of the late Shri Rajiv Gandhi.

NATIONAL CHILD AWARDs FOR EXCEPTIONAL ACHIEVEMENT

5.13.1 The Awards were instituted in 1987 for children between the age of 4 to 15 years who have shown exceptional achievement in any field including academics, arts and culture and sports. There is one Gold Medal and 32 Silver Medals (one for each State/UT). The Gold Medal carries a cash prize of Rs.10,000/- and a Certificate. The Silver Medal carries a cash prize of Rs.5,000/- and a Certificate.

5.13.2 The National Selection Committee selected one Gold Medalist and 17 Silver Medalists for the year 1997. The Secretary, Department of Women and Child Development presented the Awards on 15 April, 1999. The last date for receipt of the recommendation for the Award for the year 1999 was 15 September 1999. The National Selection Committee has selected the Awardees, and these were declared on 14 November 1999. The names of children selected are at Annexure-X.

NATIONAL AWARDS FOR CHILD WELFARE

5.14.1 The Awards were instituted in 1979 to honour five institutions and three individuals for their outstanding performance in the field of child development and welfare. The Awards carry a cash prize of Rs.2.00 lakh and a citation for each institution, and Rs.50,000/- and a citation for each individual.

5.14.2 The Hon’ble President of India in a function held in Rashtrapati Bhavan on 27 May 1999 presented the Awards for 1998. The recipients of the Awards for 1999 were declared on 14 November 1999. This year the Selection Committee has selected only one individual for the Award. The individual/institutions selected for 1999 are :

Individual

1.        Shri J. Viswanathan,
           Sri Venkateswara Orphange,
           Kaduveli, Thillaisthanam,   Tanjavur District,
           Tamil Nadu

Institutions

1.        S.O.S. Childrens Village (Belgran),
           Channi Ramma, Jammu,
           Jammu & Kashmir

2.        Anupama Education Society,
           Bharhut Nagar, Satna,
           Madhya Pradesh

3.       Society for Rehabilitation of Spastic Children,
          Ch. Chhunga Building,
          Saron Veng, Aizwal, Mizoram

4.       Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Institute For the Handicapped,
          Namachi, South Sikkim

5.        Dakshin Kalikata Sevasram,
          93 & 97, Sarat Bose Road, Calcutta, West Bengal

 

NATIONAL BRAVERY AWARDs

5.15.1 The Scheme of National Bravery Awards to children for bravery, gallantry and meritorious service was started in 1957. Every year selected children are given National Bravery Awards. The National Bravery Awards function is organised by the Indian Council for Child Welfare, New Delhi, which is a voluntary organisation of national repute. Since the inception of the scheme, 555 children have received this award. The National Bravery Award winners for the year 1999 are at Annexure-XI

GOI-UNICEF MASTER PLAN OF OPERATION 1999-2002

5.16.1 The Department of Women and Child Development, being the nodal Department for Government of India in respect of matters relating to UNICEF, finalised the GOI-UNICEF Master Plan of Operation (MPO) with an outlay of U.S.$ 300 million for the period from 1999-2002, and signed the Agreement with UNICEF on 3 May, 1999. The MPO involves nine Central Ministries and Departments and the State Governments and UT Administrations. The Department of Women and Child Development has reviewed the programmes of other Ministries and Departments. The fund utilization for the year 1999 has been around 93 percent of the annual General Resources allocation of U.S. $ 31.82 million.

UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY

5.17.1 India observes Universal Children’s Day on 14 November each year, on the birthday of India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, who was an ardent lover of children. The occasion enables us to review the progress made in attaining the decadal goals, identify gaps and constraints and work out strategies to reach the time-bound goals. In commemoration of the day, a theme highlighting a specific issue related to children is selected every year. The theme for the year 1999 was CHILDREN - INDIA’S STRENGTH. A special postal stamp was released by the Vice-President of India on the occasion at a function organised jointly by the Department of Women and Child Development and Department of Posts. The Vice-President also released a special booklet on the occasion.

UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS of THE CHILD

5.18.1 India acceeded to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992 and submitted its Initial Report in 1997. The UN Committee on the CRC went through our Initial Report and communicated a "List of Issues" for our written response. Our response was submitted to the UN Committee on CRC on 9th January, 2000

Secretary WCD led a delegation for the Hearing on the India Country Report and List of Issues by the CRC Committee on 10th and 11th January 2000, at Geneva.

5.18.2 India is also required to submit a Periodic Report on the CRC to the UN Committee on CRC. Information in this regard has been invited from State Governments/UT Administrations and other related Ministries/Departments.

5.18.3 The Department of Women and Child Development has constituted a 15 member National Coordinating Mechanism under the Chairpersonship of the Secretary of the Department for monitoring the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and for overseeing all other activities directly connected to its implementation.

SAARC ACTIVITIES

5.19.1 An annual meeting of the SAARC Technical Committee on health, population and child welfare activities was held in Colombo during 12-14 August, 1999. Mrs. Rina Ray, Director, Department of Women and Child Development attended the meeting along with a delegation which included officers from the Ministry of External Affairs. The Country Report on the Situation Analysis of the State of Children prepared by the Department was presented to the Committee during the meeting.

NATIONAL CHARTER FOR CHILDREN

5.20.1 The National Agenda for Governance enunciated the Government’s intention to announce a National Charter for Children with the aim to ensure that no child remains illiterate, hungry or lacks medical facilities. The Department prepared an Approach Paper on the National Charter for Children and circulated it to all the State Governments/UT Administrations and concerned Central Ministries and Departments for their views/comments and suggestions. The Department also prepared a draft National Charter for Children, which broadly indicates the proposed contents of the Charter and a tentative format. The Centre for Child & Law, National Law University, Bangalore was requested to assist in the preparation of the final draft National Charter for Children, which is now under consideration of government.

NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR CHILDREN

5.21.1 The Department of Women and Child Development is in the process of setting up the National Commission for Children. The proposal was considered by the Parliamentary Standing Committee attached to the Ministry of Human Resource Development in its two meetings held on 26 October, 1998 and 23 November, 1998 under the Chairmanship of Human Resource Minister. The Committee, approved the proposal, in principle. Accordingly, and based on the recommendations of the Committee, a draft note was prepared and circulated to all State Governments/UT Administrations and concerned Ministries/Departments of the Central Government for their comments/views and suggestions. Most of the State Governments/UT Administrations/Ministries/ Departments have agreed to the proposal. Subsequently, the Secretary, Department of Women and Child Development conducted a meeting with the Secretaries of concerned Ministries/Departments of Government of India along with the representatives of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Child Welfare (NCW) and National Commission for Minorities on 29 June, 1999. It was agreed, to set up the National Commission for Children on the lines of the NHRC. The draft Bill is under consideration of Government.

THE INFANT MILK SUBSTITUTE ACT, 1992

5.22.1 In 1981, the World Health Assembly adopted an International Code on the Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes. The Government of India recognized this Code and adopted the Indian National Code for Protection and Promotion of Breastfeeding in December, 1983. To give effect to the provisions of this Code, the Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods (Regulation of Production, Supply and distribution ) Act, 1992 was enacted which came into force with effect from 1.8.1993. The Act provides for the regulation of production, supply and distribution of infant milk substitutes, feeding bottles and infant foods with a view to the protection and promotion of breastfeeding and ensuring the proper use of infant foods and for matters connection therewith or incidental thereto. The Rules framed under the Act also came into force with effect from 1.8.1993. In addition to food inspectors appointed under PFA Act, the Central Government has authorized the following four voluntary organizations engaged in the field of child welfare and development and child nutrition to make a complain in writing against violations of the Act:

1.        Central Social Welfare Board
           Samaj Kalyan Bhavan,
            B-12, Tara Cresent   Institutional Area, South of IIT
            New Delhi-110 016.

2.         Indian Council for Child Welfare
            4, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg,  ICCW Building
            New Delhi-110 002.

3.          Association for Consumer Action of Safety and Health (ACASH)
             Room No. 21, Lawyer’s Chambers, R.S. Sapra Marg,
             llMumbai-400 002.
4.           Breastfeeding Promotion Network 0f   India(BPNI)
             BP-33, Pitampura
             Delhi-110 034.

5.22.2 The efforts made in this direction have placed India as one of the leading countries in the world having legislation to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. As per UNICEF’s 1997 report on the "Progress of Nations" India is one of 16 countries in the world to have enacted legislation to implement the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes in entirety.

5.22.3 During 1998 Government of India was awarded the "Hopeful Baby Award" by the UK Food Group for imaginative and effective implementation of the World Health Organisation’s International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. This is, indeed, a recognition of the efforts made by Government of India. In order to check the marketing malpractices in the sale in promotion of infant foods, efforts are underway to further strengthen the Act.

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