State Government is poised to achieve the reduction of Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) to 30 and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) to 100 per lakh by year 2010 under Millennium Development Goal Programme by improving nutritional and health status of children, increase the number of pre school education beneficiaries by ten percent and carry fresh survey of the houseless families in the State. This was revealed by Shri Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, while reviewing the functioning of the Social Justice and Empowerment Department, here today.
10,984 more Anganwari centers to be added soon.
1 child helpline to be established under Social Defence Programme.
Chief Minister said that a number of new programmes had been started in the State with a view to achieve the objective and provide people best health cover which included improvement in the nutritional and health status of children, to reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, mal-nutrition and school drop out, enhance the capability of mothers to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of their children. He said that for effective functioning of the Anganwari Centres through various innovations like universal growth monitoring of children, grading of Anganwari Centres, implementation of pre-school syllabus, community participation and identification of specific pockets of excellence was being adhered to.
He said that soon the State Government would be adding 10,984 more Anganwari Centres to the existing network of about seven thousand Anganwari Centres which would ensure employment to about 21,788 local women.
Shri Virbhadra Singh said that women empowerment was one of the major sector of focus with the Government which was being implemented through setting up of more self help groups by mobilization of rural women to join the Groups. He said that two self help groups would be formed in every Anganwari Centre and encourage groups increase their savings from Rs. 28 crore to Rs. 30 crore during current financial year. He said that necessary directions had been issued to get the marriages taking place in the State registered compulsorily and implement the H.P.Registration of Marriages Act and Rules strictly besides ensuring that no child marriage could take place. He said that such Act had been adopted by the State Government to provide women marital security and eliminate incidences of child marriage in the State.
Chief Minister said that his Government was committed to prevent women from sexual harassment at their work places by creating complaint committees in all public and private establishments. He said that exemplary punishment would be given to the errants involved in such harassment cases. He said that the State Government was actively considering separate demand under its Annual Budgetary Provisions to earmark budgetary provisions under Scheduled Caste Special Component Sub-Plan so that focal attention was paid towards the development of the scheduled caste concentrated areas.
Shri Virbhadra Singh said that the State Government would be establishing one Child Helpline during current financial under Social Defence Programme to reach the most marginalized children between the age of zero to 18 yeas of age and provide interventions of shelter, rescue, repatriation, emotional support and guidance to them. He said that improvement of Bal Balika Ashrams by an integrating scheme for the children in need of care and protection through Mukhya Mantri Bal Uddhar Y ojna would be implemented. He added that the State Government would identify the senior citizens and issue them identify cards making them eligible for various concessions being provided by the State Government besides bringing eligible persons under the ambit of old age pension scheme.
He further said that skill up gradation of the handicapped was being carried for mainstreaming them. He said that welfare and socio-economic upliftment of the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes, was being accorded top priority which were being provided loans at low rates of interest to encourage them opt for self employment ventures and would go a long way in reduction of the number of unemployed in the State.
Chief Minister said that Mother Teresa Asahay Matri Sambal Yojna had been introduced in the State under which an annual grant of Rs. l000 to all below poverty line widows, divorcees and deserted women was being provided for upbringing their children besides providing them widow pension. He said that Rs. 25,000 award was being provided to the families adopting terminal family planning method after one girl child. He said that funds had not been any constraint in carrying the social welfare activities and all eligible persons would be brought under the fold of social security.
Shri Virbhadra Singh said that the state Government would be adopting a standard design for construction of Lepers Colony at suitable places in the State to rehabilitate the cured lepers in the State. He directed the authorities to accord top priority to construct such colonies in the State.
Shri R.R.Rao, Excise and Taxation Minister, who also holds the portfolio of Social Justice and Empowerment said that Himachal Pradesh was one of the few selected States which was spending over 48 percent of its budgetary provisions over social welfare activities. He said that with the opening of new Anganwari Centres in the State the local women of the village would get employment opportunities. He said that the State Government was posing a number of new schemes for funding to the Government of India so that more deserving people were served.
Shri Bhim Sen, Principal Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment welcomed the Chief Minister, and apprised him of the achievements and targets of the department. He said that review meeting was also being held at department level.
Shri S. Vijay Kumar, Principal Secretary Home. Shri S. Behuria, Principal Secretary Finance, Shri Prem Kumar, Principal Secretary, Shri Arvind Mehta, Secretary Finance, Smt. Anuradha Thakur, Director, Social Justice and Empowerment, and Shri D. K. Sharma, Advisor Planning attended the meeting.