On the International Women’s Day (March 8, 2018), Maharashtra will Launch a beneficial Scheme “Asmita Yojana” specially for the girls and women in rural area to provide cheap (subsidised) sanitary pads to school girls and women. Under the scheme ‘ Asmita Yojana ‘, girls in Zilla Parishad schools will get a sanitary napkin packet at Rs 5 while rural women can avail it at a subsidised rate of Rs 24 and Rs 29.
For the effective implementation of the scheme,the state government has appointed “Umed’- the Maharashtra State Rural Livelihood Mission, as a nodal agency.The Scheme is proved to be a great move stepping towards better hygiene with an aim of reducing health issues.The move came at a time when various sections of the society and some political parties have been demanding slashing of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on sanitary napkins.
Stepping towards better hygine , the Maharashtra Government has launched ‘Asmita Yojana’, The scheme will promote menstrual hygiene and increase awareness among young girls on usage of sanitary pads.The scheme aims to create awareness about health and education and also to provide better employment opportunities for women in rural areas .
The Asmita Yojana was announced last year by Women and Child and Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde.
Self Help Groups (SHGs):
Self-help groups are started by -governmental organizations (GO) that generally have broad anti-poverty agendas. A self-help group (SHG) is a village-based financial intermediary committee usually composed of 10–20 local women or men. Self-help groups or (SHG) are seen as instruments for goals including empowering women, inculcate leadership abilities among poor and the needy people, increasing number of school enrollments, and improving nutrition and the use of birth control. In countries like India, SHGs bridge the gap between high-caste & low-caste members.
- The state government has appointed “Umed’- the Maharashtra State Rural Livelihood Mission, as a nodal agency for effective implementation of the scheme. Under the scheme ‘Asmita Yojana‘ beneficiary girls will be given “Asmita Cards”, while participating Self Help Groups (SHGs) will be entrusted with the task of the supply and sale of sanitary pads and counselling the girls and women.
- Awareness about hygiene is not adequate in rural areas of Maharashtra specially during periods among girls in the age group of 11 to 19 years and women in general. High costs of sanitary pads, their unavailability in rural areas and awkwardness among women to purchase them from male chemists as the main reasons behind such low usage.
- The SHGs will procure sanitary napkins from suppliers by registering on the Asmita mobile application and distribute them to rural women and girls as per the requirement and demand.
- The scheme will promote menstrual hygiene and increase awareness among young girls on usage of sanitary pads as well the physical well being of women.It will reduce school absenteeism and will increase their percentage in schools.
The parliament house is setting up crèche facility ,a crèche on its premises for women employees who may want to bring their small children to the day care facility. This is seen as a n attempt to make way for an “inclusive and supportive work environment” for women employees at the parliament house.
This facility will help to bring in visible impact by pushing other private establishments, central and state owned organizations to set up crèche facility, to aid mothers.
The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act:
The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act makes crèche facility mandatory for every establishment employing 50 or more employees. Women employees would be permitted to visit the crèche four times during the day. The provisions Act mandate healthy workplace diversity and direct establishments of crèche facility.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development:
The Ministry of Women and Child Development is a branch of the Government of India, is the apex body for formulation and administration of the rules and regulations and laws relating to women and child development in India.Most of the programmes of the Ministry are run through non-governmental organisations. Maneka Gandhi is the current minister for the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- The provisions under the ‘Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017’ state that a healthy workplace diversity is to be maintained. Under the law, establishments are directed to provide the crèche facility.
- The Maternity Benefit Act 1961 protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her of a ‘maternity benefit’ – i.e. full paid absence from work – to take care for her child. The act is applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more persons.
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development has been implementing the world’s largest outreach programme of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) providing a package of services comprising supplementary nutrition, immunization, health check-up and referral services, pre-school non-formal education for the holistic development of a child.
- For the registration under the crèche facility a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) as per the stipulated guidelines will be followed while accepting the employees’ request.