Department of Women and Child Development & Social Welfare, Government of West Bengal acts as nodal department for care, protection, and development of Women and Children. The Department is to play a major role in ensuring
(i) The principles of gender equity, as enshrined in the Indian Constitution in its preamble, Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles and key resolutions of International Conventions towards positive discrimination against women, children, physically challenged, mentally retarded, destitute and orphans, in line with the principles followed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (Department of Women and Child Welfare) and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
|(ii) Removing underlying causes of gender inequality through development of informal and formal norms and practices.|
|(iii) Building of awareness for changing social attitude and community practices, on various issues of Human Rights, guiding Directorate of Social Welfare and other wings in implementing the policy and Programme of Central and State Government.|
|1. NUTRITION AND OTHER SERVICES|
|A. Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)|
|(i) A national programme, ICDS – a centrally sponsored scheme is being implemented in functioning 357 projects, (289 are rural, 23 urban, 45 Tribal projects) through 54742 nos. of Anganwadi Centres extending supplementary nutritional support to 42 lakhs (approximately) children below six years of age and 4.6 lakhs of pregnant and nursing mothers.
Monitoring is done to upgrade the undernourished children under the category of Group III and Group IV to normal children. At present 30,400 numbers of children are in the category of Group III and Group IV in the age group of 6 months to 5 years.
Besides Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP), other services like Health Check-up, immunization, supplementary nutrition and imparting nutrition health education are provided. Necessity of exclusive breast feeding upto 6 months to expectant and nursing mothers are made understand to mothers.
(ii) Nutritional health education in the age group of 15 to 45 years in the Mothers’ meeting organized by AWWs in the presence of Supervisors. At Gram Panchayat level, one meeting is held at the fourth Saturday of the month with Supervisors and Panchayat functionaries.
(iii) Immunization, health check-up, referral services with the assistance of Health and Family Welfare Department for the children under 3 years.
(iv) Non-formal pre-school education with health check-up for the children between 3 – 6 years of age.
(v) Besides sanctioned 358 projects with 56760 AWCs, Government of India recently sanctioned 57 new projects with additional 17100 AWCs.
(vi) Following Apex Court’s instruction nutrition supplements @ Rs 2/- per beneficiary has already been introduced instead of existing 0.80p per day per beneficiary. This revamped SNP takes care of providing Egg, Vegetables, Iodized salt and other micro nutrients.
|B. KISHORI SHAKTI YOJANA|
|At present all districts are covered under this programme, wherein awareness in respect of health, hygiene control of anaemia among adolescent girls and other related issues are taken up.
The program has been universalized now. All the projects will be provided Rs 1.10 Lakh per annum. The State Government has stressed for providing vocational training considering the local needs and availability of raw materials. Special focus has been given for formation of groups and providing quality training.
|C. BALIKA SAMRIDDI YOJANA|
|This is mainly for girl children of BPL families who were born on or after 15.8.1997 each girl is provided Rs.500/- at the time of birth. So far I,34,929 Nos. of beneficiaries are getting assistance at this moment through opening of joint savings bank account with mother in any nationalized banks or savings deposit in Post Office. Matured value will be available to them when girl children attain the age of 18 years. Department of Social Welfare is now making an effort in providing assistance for education of these children who are within the purview of Balika Samriddhi Yojana.|
D. NATIONAL PROGRAM FOR ADOLACENT GIRLS (Pilot Project)
Objective of the Project is to provide 6 Kg food grains free of cost per month for three consecutive months to under nourished Adolescent girls, Pregnant & Lactating Mothers with body weight less than 35 Kg & 40 Kg respectively in the Pilot Districts of Jalpaiguri & Purulia.
During 2004-2005, Rs 228 Lakhs to DM Jalpaiguri & Rs 200 Lakhs. to DM Purulia have been provided for implementation of the Project.
The program was interrupted due to non supply of Food Grains from FCI & GOI.
|E. MICRONUTRIENT INITIATIVE PROJECT|
With Special Nutrition Programme (SNP) under ICDS the children are provided with Carbohydrate, Protein and fat. Other nutritional deficiencies like Iodine, Iron, Vitamin A are met through supply of micronutrients like Iron, Vitamin A, Iodine in nine districts covering 13,59,834 nos. of beneficiaries. For such a separate project is providing micronutrients as following.
(i) In hilly areas of Darjeeling district, fortified Atta enriched with Vitamin A are provided through MR shops for all.
(ii) Premix is used in Khichri under SNP programme in 7 nos. Districts.
(iii) Vitamin A enriched candies are given in Howrah and Dakshin Dinajpur Districts.
|F. Role of UNICEF|
(i) UNICEF has been extending support in strengthening the surveillance of nutritional status by providing computerized network upto District level and analyzing the data at the State level.
It imparts computer training to ICDS projects officers and District Programme Officers.
(ii) 600 number of Anganwadi Centres in 24 projects are taken under Pilot projects for qualitative improvement to children under 3 years for complete reduction of malnutrition through innovative approach by imparting training to mothers with better child rearing which is commonly known as ‘Positive Deviance’ approach.
|G . Role of CARE|
(i) CARE has been involving in 91 nos. projects/blocks in nine districts where they are providing 10 gms of Vegetable oil to all the children per day under ICDS programme..
Under its Integrated Nutrition and Health Project, chain agents/community volunteers are taking care of “under two children” to promote baby friendly community initiative focusing on regular nutrition feeding and arrange training to mothers.
(ii) CARE has initiated a programme to support credit and savings for household enterprise (CASHE) in 7 nos. of districts through development of Self Help Groups (SHG). So far it has formed 11090 Nos. of SHGs and Micro-finance services are initiated.
(iii) CARE has also taken up community based projects in 5 nos. of districts in breaking the chain of tuberculosis.
|2 . EMPOWERMENT|
A . Economic empowerment of women
(i) SUPPORT TO TRAINING & EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMME
Non-Government organizations are encouraged to take up projects in providing skill up-gradation benefiting women from poorer sections of society under this programme. At present five schemes are under process for getting approval from Government of India. Two number of STEP are now in operation one for dairy development and the other for poultry.
Besides 1.13 lakh nos. of Self Help Groups (SHGs) formed by Panchayat and Rural Development Department, under Sayamsiddha programmed 5177 nos. of SHGs have been formed in 39 blocks in 4 nos. districts. Proper training has been given for getting them equipped in handling micro credit for their day to day requirements.
(iii) CUTTING AND TAILORING
This is a State Government sponsored project for women. 68 nos. of Cutting and Tailoring centres are there where almost 3400 nos. of beneficiaries are getting training annually for development of skill.
(iv) SWABALAMBAN (NORAD): Skill development
Under SWABALAMBAN (NORAD) scheme 201 nos. of projects have ensured training facilities to women under secondary and tertiary sectors after getting sanctioned from Government of India benefiting 101452 numbers of beneficiaries throughout the states. This training programme is being conducted by the NGOs who have competence for skill development. This programme will not be continued further by the Government of India.
|B. SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT|
(i) Under Juvenile Justice Act we have 16 numbers of Homes run by Government out of which 7 Homes are meant for girls and women accommodating 1954 number of inmates at the moment.
(ii) Home under Immoral Traffic Prevention Act (ITPA), three numbers of Homes are constituted at Burdwan, Nadia, and Malda wherein 85 numbers of women are presently accommodated. Arrangements of skill development are there through providing support of training of craft work.
(iii) There are other two state-run Homes in the State for rescued girls and destitute children (boys) in Kolkata and Murshidabad.
(iv) 22 nos. Homes under Juvenile Justice Act are run by the non-Government organization in Kolkata and districts. Out of them 10 such Homes are for mentally retarded boys and girls and 11 such Homes are providing, education, training etc. for the girls only.
(v) There are total 7 nos. Homes run by NGO where abandoned and orphan infants are accommodated for the purpose of in-country and intra-country adoption. Out of them 3 nos. are running under SISHU GREHA scheme. During 2004-05, 450 children were taken under adoption from NGO run Home and Child Welfare Committee under J.J. Act.
|b) COTTAGE SCHEME|
Under Cottage scheme 68 nos. of Non Government Organisations have been engaging in operating 242 nos. of Cottages. Each Cottage accommodates 25 boys/girls. They have been provided shelter and attached with local schools nearby. At present 155 number of girls are staying in such Home. This is State Government funded schemes.
|c) WORKING WOMEN HOSTELS|
|We have 40 nos.Working Women Hostels which are being operated through NGOs has been accommodating 1961 nos. of women.
At present these are in Kolkata, 24 Parganas (North), 24 Parganas (S), Hooghly, Burdwan, Birbhum, Purba Midanpore, Paschim Midnapore, Coochbehar, Malda, Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri.
|d) DAY CARE CENTRE|
We have 28 nos. of NGO operated Day Care centres with capacity of accommodating 700 nos. women (Total capacity 1400) dispersed through states.
|e) SHORT STAY HOME|
To provide temporary shelter and support women and girls who have no special support. We have set up 34 nos. of Short Stay Home through NGOs with a capacity of accommodating 1020 nos. of women. We have sent proposals for 15 nos. of Short Stay Home to Government of India State Welfare Board.
|f) OLD AGE HOME|
There are total 32 nos. old age homes for the poor and destitute run by the NGOs in the different Districts of the state. There is one Govt. run old age home where political sufferers as well as destitute old-aged male and female are accommodated.
|g) SWADHAR SCHEME|
NGOs of repute have been running 5 nos. of Swadhar schemes giving shelter, imparting training for rehabilitation for 250 nos. helpless women.We have proposed another 15 nos. of Swadhar schemes which are under active consideration of Govt. of India.
|h) MOBILE MEDICARE UNIT|
|State encourages for setting up of 11 nos. of Mobile Medicare Unit through NGOs benefiting 1500 nos. of Women. At present 7 nos. of Mobile Medicare Unit are running in the State.|
|i) AWARENESS GENERATION PROGRAMME (AGP)|
|52 nos. of NGOs have been working in AGP programme in respect of checking dowry, restrain of early childhood marriage and other social problem through the active participants of State Social Welfare Board.|
j) NATIONAL ‘CRECHE’ FUND SCHEME
|To meet the growing demand of ‘Creches’ for working women, have been able to set up 150 nos. of creches through NGOs.|
k) AWARENESS FOR PREVENTION OF ATROCITIES ON WOMEN
|On 2004-2005, 10 nos. of NGOs received fund for creating awareness for prevention of atrocities on women.|
|l) DRUG DE-ADDICTION CENTRES|
|We have 6 nos. of counseling centres and 14 nos. of Drug De-addiction centres with a capacity 28 nos. of beneficiaries 30% of these are among women.|
|m) NON INSTITUTIONAL CARE (NIC)|
|School children between the age group of 6-18 years from BPL families are provided with Rs.60/- per month as educational expenses. Prescribed format is available from the Directorate of Social Welfare, Salt Lake City in case of candidate is from Kolkata and in case the candidate is from the districts Form is available from block/District office 650 nos. of school children are getting much benefit.|
|3. SOCIAL SECURITY|
|There are three types of Pension scheme implemented by Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Department.|
|(a) OLD AGE PENSION|
|Old Age Pension is granted to a person who is more than 60 years of age and having family income not exceeding Rs. 100/- per month and if there is none to look after the aged person. The total coverage of the scheme is for 33,818 for male and female (both). The extent of pension is Rs. 500/- per month.|
|(b) WIDOW PENSION|
|Widow Pension is sanctioned to a widow having none to look after in the family and family income up to Rs. 100/- per month. The extent of pension is Rs.500/- per month. The total coverage is for 11,546 widows in t he State of West Bengal.|
|(c) DISABILITY PENSION|
|This pension is sanctioned to a disable person who is incapacitated to earn a living and extent of disability, is 49% and there is none to maintain the disable,. Income limit is Rs.100/- per month. The extent of pension is Rs.500/- per month. The total coverage in the state is 6887.|
|4. SCHEMES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES|
|A. SPECIAL SCHOOLS|
|Under this scheme grant is provided by Government of India through the State Government to the NGOs for running special school for children with mentally challenged, hearing & visually handicapped. At present approximate 350 NGOs are engaged for the welfare of the handicapped, out of them approximate 300 NGOs are running such schools where approximate 6000 such children are benefited..|
B. AIDS AND APPLICATION TO DISABILITIES (ADIP)
|Aids and appliances are given to the persons with orthopedic, hearing and visual disabilities at minimum cost or free of cost; on the basis of the family income of the persons with disabilities. In the last financial year eleven NGOs were provided approximately Rs.77 lakhs to extend benefit for the purpose.|
|C . NATIONAL PROGRAM FOR REHABILITATION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (NPRPD)|
|In course of implementation of PWD Act 1995 and National Trust Act 1999 Government in this Department took up implementation of community based rehabilitation program of PWDs in three districts; Purba and Paschim Medinipore and Dakshin Dinajpur.|
|D . NATIONAL HANDICAPPED FINANCE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION|
|Through West Bengal Women Development Undertaking this 100% loan scheme is executed to prospective persons with disabilities at a subsidized rate of interest for earning their livelihood. Out of 638 cases of loan 534 have been sanctioned. Fund allotted till date 240.96 lakhs. Recovery percentage is 60%.|
|Besides all the programmes as cited above Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities has been appointed as a constitutional authority to safeguard the interest of persons with disabilities with a view t o properly implement Articles and Provisions of PWD Act, 1995, National Trust Act, 1999.|
E. SCHOLARSHIP FOR THE HANDICAPPED CHILDREN
|Handicapped students are provided with this scholarship amounting Rs. 60/- per month upto 16 years of age. Prescribed format is available from the Directorate of Social Welfare, Salt lake City in case of candidate is from Kolkata and in case the candidate is from the districts Form is available from block/District office. Scholarships are being provided to 2750 handicapped children for maintaining their educational expense.|
|5. CONTROLLER OF VAGRANCY|
|Controller of Vagrancy is set up under the Provision of Bengal Vagrancy Act, 1943 and look after the vagrants and beggars who have been roaming in and around Kolkata. For there shelter of these vagrants there are 10 homes under this Directorate in various parts of West Bengal with a total inmate capacity of 2250 at present a total number of inmate is about 1000. Apart from this, this office also deals with two other schemes viz. Beggary Prevention Scheme and Reduction and Control of Juvenile Beggary and Vagrancy. A total number of 300 children are covered under this scheme in a total number of six units.
Two NGO schemes viz. Integrated Street Children Programme and Working Children in Need of Care and Protection is also monitored by this Department and there are about 50 NGOs throughout West Bengal covering about 10,000 children in these two schemes.
|6. CAPACITY BUILDING|
|(a) Government of India in its Ministry of Human Resource Development arranged for training of ICDS personnel like AWWs, Supervisors and CDPOs under World Bank aided project UDISHA. Refresher training also being taken through all three categories of employment.|
|(b) Government in the Women and Child Development Department under Ministry of Human Resource Development and Government in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment have arranged workshops through Directorate as well as through reputed NGOs for various issues like children rights, anti-trafficking measures and against commercial sexual exploitation. In some districts also officers of the district level and Panchayat officials are being sensitized through various workshops and seminar to combat the social problem like trafficking of women, children and dowry system.|
|7. IMPLEMENTATION OF JUVENILE JUSTICE ACT,2000 AND OTHER BODIES|
|Measures for employment Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 there are at present two Juvenile Justice Boards and 5 Child Welfare Committees and Government sanctioned 5 Juvenile Justice Boards and nine Child Welfare Committees which will be functioning very soon. Statutory Committees under Dowry Prohibition Act have also been made in the district.|
|8. ADVISORY BODIES|
|The Department of Women and Child Development & Social Welfare is aided with the advice and recommendations of
• National Human Rights Commission
• State Human Rights Commission
• National Women Commission
• State Women Commission
(v) Chief Secretary heads a meeting with Secretaries of various Departments along with senior high level officials of Police, Social Welfare, Education, Health and some reputed NGOs as per recommendations of National Human Rights Commission against trafficking.
9. INTERACTION WITH NGOs
Department has been interacting with International and national NGOs (based in the State) to pursue the relevant social issues during their day to day business.