The Union Ministry of Women and Child launched several new initiatives and consolidated on those of the previous two years during the year 2016. Some of the key initiatives this year included launch of POCSO e-Box, Mahila e-Haat, passage of Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Rajya Sabha, expansion of BBBP scheme, Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016, expansion of one stop centre scheme, launch of SMPV scheme on ground, draft anti-trafficking bill, draft national policy for women, training of women panchayats, greater engagement with media to generate awareness among others.
Expansion of One Stop Centres Scheme:
(One Stop Centre at Raipur, Chattisgarh)
The Ministry has launched the Scheme for setting up One Stop Centres to facilitate access to an integrated range of services including medical, legal, and psychological support to women affected by violence to be funded through Nirbhaya Fund.
In this year, there was a major thrust on stepping up the setting of these centres. Funds were sanctioned to 33 States/UTs during the year 2015-16 for establishment of One Stop Centre while 150 additional Centres have been taken up in second phase during 2016-17 utilising Nirbhaya Fund.
As a result, 51 One Stop Centres have become operational. It has been envisaged that 100 OSCs will become operational by January end 2017, 150 OSCs by March end, 2017 and 186 OSCs by July end, 2017. The One Stop Centres will be integrated with 181 and other existing helplines.
Expansion of flagship scheme ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’:
BBBP is one of the flagship programmes of the Government to address the declining Child Sex Ratio and related issues of disempowerment of women on a life- cycle continuum. This programme was launched in 100 critical districts with the lowest child sex ratio on 22nd January, 2015 at Panipat by the Hon’ble Prime Minister. The scheme has been successful in establishing the improvement in Child Sex Ratio as a National Agenda. Given the criticality of the issue, this initiative has been this year expanded to 61 additional districts across the 11 States/UTs.
The specific objectives of the scheme include preventing gender biased sex selective elimination; ensuring survival and protection of the girl child and ensuring education and participation of the girl child.
Since its inception in January 2015, this programme has resulted in hundreds of local level innovative initiatives to promote the girl child. Some of these district/state level initiatives include installing digital Guddi Gudda Display Boards in offices and public places in Jalgaon district, Maharashtra; multi-sectoral interventions by Cuddalore district, Tamil Nadu; a social assistance scheme titled Ladli Beti for new born girl child born on or after 01st April 2015 by Jammu and Kashmir; cash reward of Rs. 1 lakh for whistle blowers informing about illegal sex selection announced by Haryana; Shaurya Dals and Har GharDastak initiative in Madhya Pradesh; local champions and brand ambassadors identified in Gomati district, Tripura, Jhunjhunu district, Rajasthan; Ambassador of Girl Child launched by Nagaland; recognizing girl achievers in the community in Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh and Tripura among others.
With concerted efforts at national, state and district levels, the preliminary reports for 100 districts indicate that for the time period between April-March 2014-15 & 2015-16, an increasing trend in Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) is visible in 58% of the BBBP districts; 69 districts have reported progress in the first trimester registration against the reported ANC registrations during the previous year; and status of institutional deliveries have improved in 80 districts against the total reported deliveries in comparison to the previous year.
(Increasing trend in Sex Ratio at Birth)
New Passport Rules
In a major progressive move, on insistence of WCD Ministry, the Ministry of External Affairs has issued new Passport Rules (http://www.mea.gov.in/index.htm) on 23rdDecember , 2016 for the benefit of single/divorced mothers and their children as well as adopted/adoptable children as follows:
- The online passport application form now requires the applicant to provide the name of father or mother or legal guardian, i.e., only one parent and not both. This would enable single parents to apply for passports for their children and to also issue passports where the name of either the father or the mother is not required to be printed at the request of the applicant.
- The Passport application form does not require the applicant to provide the name of her/his spouse in case of separated or divorced persons. Such applicants for passports would not be required to provide even the Divorce Decree.
- Orphaned children who do not have any proof of DOB such as Birth Certificate or the Matriculation Certificate or the declaratory Court order, may now submit a declaration given by the Head of the Orphanage/Child Care Home on their official letter head of the organization confirming the DOB of the applicant.
- In case of children not born out of wedlock, the applicant for the passport of such children should submit only Annexure G while submitting the passport application.
- In case of issue of passport to in-country domestically adopted children, submission of the registered adoption deed would no longer be required. In the absence of any deed to this effect, the passport applicant may give a declaration on a plain paper confirming the adoption.
Operationalisation of Gender Champions Scheme:
The initiative of Gender Champions is being implemented through educational institutions for sensitizing young students and for creating awareness on laws, legislations, legal rights and life skills education. The Gender Champion Guidelines developed by WCD Ministry are being operationalized in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
A Training Module for Gender Champions has been developed for adoption by educational institutes. As per report of the UGC, 100 Universities and 145 colleges have initiated implementation of Gender Champions.
On ground operationalization of Mahila Police Volunteer Scheme:
The Guidelines of Mahila Police Volunteers have been developed by WCD Ministry in collaboration with Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), Ministry of Home Affairs. The broad mandate of MPVs is to report to authorities/police the incidences of violence against women such as domestic violence, child marriage, dowry harassment and violence faced by women in public spaces. Home Ministry has given its consent for implementation of the scheme in April, 2016.
Haryana has become the first state to operationalise the Mahila Police Volunteer scheme. It was launched jointly by the WCD Ministry and Haryana Government at Karnal on 14th December, 2016 for the districts of Karnal and Mahendragarh in Haryana. Other states are expected to follow the same soon.
Progress on 33% Reservation for women in police force:
The WCD Ministry has been working along with the Ministry of Home Affairs to improve overall police responsiveness to gender sensitive cases and to bring visibility to more women and strengthen gender sensitivity in police force.
An Advisory has been issued to all State Governments to increase representation of women in police to 33% of the total strength.
As a result, reservation has been extended in 13 States/Union Territories of Bihar, Gujarat, Odisha, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep & Dadra Nagar Haveli, NCT of Delhi. The Process has been initiated in 9 more States/UTs (Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Mizoram, Punjab, Kerala, Haryana, Uttarakhand and West Bengal).
Panic Button on Mobile Phones:
The Ministry of Women and Child Development had taken up the issue of installation of physical panic button on mobile phones as one of the initiatives since June 2014. Based on extensive stakeholder consultations initiated by WCD Ministry, the ‘Panic Button and Global Positioning System in Mobile Phone Handsets Rules 2016’ have been notified by the Department of Telecommunications.
Under these rules, all new feature phones will have the facility of panic button configured to the numeric key 5 or 9 and all smart phones will have the panic button configured to three times short pressing of the On-off button from the new year onwards. Further, all new mobile phones will be required to have the facility of identifying the location through satellite based GPS
Guidelines for Matrimonial Websites issued:
In view of the increasing number of crimes committed against women on account of information shared on the matrimonial websites, it was decided in consultation with Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeITY), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and service providers to look into the issue and to put in place a regulatory framework in order to check this misuse. The Ministry has already carried out extensive work for the preparation of the due diligence guidelines for the matrimonial websites and prepared a concept paper detailing extent of the problem, existing safeguards, existing legal remedies, etc., which has been circulated to stakeholders concerned. Based on extensive stakeholders consultation initiated by WCD Ministry, an advisory on functioning of Matrimonial Website was issued by DeITY on 6th June, 2016(http://wcd.nic.in/acts/advisory-functioning-matrimonial-websites) .
Implementation of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013:
After ensuring the establishment of Internal Complaints Committees in all Ministries/Departments of Government of India, the Ministry of WCD this year set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee headed by a senior official of the WCD Ministry to oversee the implementation of the Act in the Government. The inter ministerial committee will create a panel of resource persons from which ICCs can take the external members. The training programmes of all services will have a module on the Act and DoPT will issue necessary instructions for this.
(Handbook on Sexual Harassment of Workplace Act, 2013)
Based on the meeting held by WCD Minister, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, the DoPThas issued a notification dated December 22, 2016 outlining the following:
- Brief details of the implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act including the number of cases received and disposed shall form a part of the Annual Report of all ministries/ departments and authorities there under.
- The enquiry of cases must be completed within 30 days and under any circumstances within 90 days from the date of the complaint.
- The ministries/ departments etc. have to keep a watch on the complainant so as to ensure that she is not victimized in any manner because of her having filed the complaint. The aggrieved woman has been given further option to send representation to the Secretary or head of the organization in case she feels that she is being victimized because of her complaint. The concerned authority will be required to dispose of this complaint within 15 days.
- All ministries/ departments etc. are now required to submit a monthly progress report to the Ministry of Women and Child Development so that the progress can be monitored.
The Ministry has already released a Handbook on the Act for ready reference. It is also available on www.wcd.nic.in.
A schematic proposal to enable the universalization of a Helpline specifically for women with a common number across the country has been approved. This Helpline will be linked with One Stop Centres being established by the Ministry of Women & Child Development. The Department of Telecommunication, Government of India, has allocated short code 181 to all States/UTs which is already being used by some States/UTs such as Delhi, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh as Women Helpline. So far, Women Helplines have been operational in 18 States/UTs.
National Policy on Women:
The draft National Policy for Women, 2016, has been released by the Minister, WCD and is under finalization. The policy has been revised after 15 years and is expected to guide Government action on women’s issues over the next 15-20 years. Draft National Policy for Women 2016 prescribes the operational strategies for implementation of the policy. These include, framing of Action Plans at the national, State and local level; strengthening gender institutional architecture, enacting new legislations and reviewing/ harmonizing legislations, engaging with stakeholders for advocacy and awareness generation, strengthening institutionalization of gender budgeting and creating an effective gender based data base.The policy looks into the entire life-cycle continuum of women’s issues and encompasses a wide spectrum ranging from discrimination against women to the expectations of new emerging inspirational woman.
Utilisation of Nirbhaya Fund:
The Ministry of Finance, Government of India set up a dedicated fund called Nirbhaya Fund for implementation of initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and security for women in the country. The corpus transferred to the Public Account for the Nirbhaya fund is Rs. 2000.00 Cr.
In 2015, keeping in mind the need to have schematic interventions and proper mechanism for handholding of women in distress, 2 schemes i.e. One Stop Centre amounting to Rs. 18.58 Cr. and Universalisation of Women Helpline amounting to Rs. 69.49 Cr. were initiated by Ministry of Women and Child Development. The OSC Scheme has been expanded to 150 additional locations in July 2016. 51 centres have already become operational.
Under Nirbhaya Fund, 13 proposals of different Ministries/States have been appraised and recommended amounting to Rs. 2177.27 Cr. These proposal/projects are at different stages of implementation. The procedure for release of funds from the NirbhayaFund has also been simplified.
Draft Bill on Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection & Rehabilitation) Bill, 2016:
WCD Ministry in consultation with the line Ministries/Departments/State Govt./CSOs and domain experts has prepared a draft Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2016 which is in its final stages of finalization. The draft Bill proposes to tackle different aspects of trafficking by creating a strong legal, economic and social environment by putting in place dedicated institutional mechanisms at District, State & Central Level.
Training for Women Heads of Panchayats:
The National Commission for Women (NCW) of WCD Ministry has developed training modules to build capacity of elected women panchayat representatives. In May, 2016, the Commission undertook its first initiative in this regard at Jhalawar District, Rajasthan. More than 40 elected women representatives participated in the workshops aiming at empowering and developing their capacities. The training will be expanded in the states of Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Haryana from January, 2017 onwards.
Village facilitation & Convergence Service:
Village Facilitation & Convergence Service (VCFS) aims to link women in need with the schemes/programs being implemented by Central/State Government impacting the lives of women such as BBBP, Sabla, One Stop Centre, Jan Dhan Yojana, Swach Bharat etc. The services under VCFS are provided by Village Coordinators at the Gram Panchayat level. VCFS Scheme has been approved for 161 BBBP districts and 200 high burden districts across the country. This will help to educate women about government schemes and their benefits as well and enhance community participation in implementation of schemes and programmes meant for women.
Launch of Mahila e-Haat :
The Ministry of Women & Child Development launched Mahila e-Haat(http://rmk.nic.in/), a unique direct online digital marketing platform for women entrepreneurs/SHGs/NGOs in March 2016. It also aims at financial inclusion and economic empowerment of women. Mahila e-Haat facilitates direct contact between the vendor and buyer. The unique features of Mahila E-haat not available on other e-commerce portals are (a) Sharing of contact details of vendors b) E-learning services (c) Pitara (Hamari Baat) conversations (d) Services.
Mahila e-Haat is a bilingual portal and has received over 14.50 lakh visitors/hits.
(Mahila e-Haat portal)
(Mahila e-Haat web portal)
(Products for sale on Mahila e-Haat Portal)
Women entrepreneurs/SHGs/NGOs from 22 states are showcasing approximately 1800 products/services. Today, there are 23000 SHGs registered on Mahila e-Haat with 3 lakh beneficiaries directly and indirectly. Women entrepreneurs/ SHGs/NGOs as vendors on Mahila e-Haat portal in 6 months have transacted business of over Rs. 20 lakh which is a substantial amount keeping in mind the micro nature of the individual businesses. Major PSUs, IRCTC, Nationalised Banks like SBI, CBI, etc have given a link to Mahila e-Haat on their websites increasing visibility.
Mahila e-Haat received the SKOCH GOLD Award on 9th September 2016. It was also adjudged as one of the Top 100 Projects in India for the year 2016 and was awarded SKOCH Order-of-Merit Award.
Launch of POSCO e-Box:
POCSO e-Box (http://ncpcr.gov.in/) was launched in August 2016 and is a simple and easy to use facility for children or any adult to register complaints of child sexual abuse or harassment. It is a direct online reporting mechanism where each complaint is handled with sensitivity and anonymity to provide optimum protection to these children.
POCSO e- Box has been awarded the Skoch Silver and Skoch Order-of Merit award out of 3000 participants and was considered among the top 30 entries.
Extension of Maternity Leave:
The WCD Ministry has been working to extend the maternity leave period for working women to enable them to provide exclusive breastfeeding to children for six months after child birth. The Ministry of Labour & Employment has carried out suitable amendments in the Act, which are as follows:
- Enhancement of maternity leave under Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, from existing 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
- Extension of maternity benefit to adopting mothers and commissioning mothers.
- Establishment of crèche facility within the office/factory premises.
The Amendment Bill has already been passed by Rajya Sabha , clearing the first step towards achieving the goal. The Amendments are likely to be introduced and passed in LokSabha soon.
Framing of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 (JJ Model Rules, 2016):
The landmark Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 came into effect from 15th January, 2016.This Law strengthens provisions for both children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law. Under Section 15, special provisions have been made to tackle child offenders committing heinous offences in the age group of 16-18 years.
(WCD Minister releasing JJ Rule, 2016)
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 (JJ Model Rules, 2016) have been notified and published in the Gazette of India. The JJ Model Rules, 2016, are based on the philosophy that children need to be reformed and reintegrated into society. Best interest of the child along with child-friendly procedures is incorporated across the provisions and is the primary consideration.
SABLA-Scheme for Adolescent Girls:
Scheme for Adolescent Girls, Sabla, a Centrally- sponsored scheme being implemented in 205 districts selected from all the States/UTs. Sabla aims at the all—round development of adolescent girls of 11-18 years (with a focus on all out-of-school adolescent girls) by making them self reliant by improving their health and nutrition status, promoting awareness about health, hygiene, nutrition, Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health, family and child care and facilitating access to public services through various interventions such as guidance & counselling and imparting vocational training for girls aged 16 and above. It also aims towards mainstreaming out of school adolescent girls into formal/non formal education.
The details of funds released, utilized and beneficiaries covered during 2015-16 and current year under SABLA scheme is as under:-
|Year||Total Funds (Rs. in lakh)||Nutrition Beneficiaries
|2016-17 (as on 30.06.2016)||39516.75||13870.90||54.50|
Initiative with Railways on Missing Children :
The Ministry of Women and Child Development and Ministry of Railways have framed path-breaking Special Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be implemented by Railways for runaway, abandoned, kidnapped, trafficked children via medium of railways. Child Helpline Centres were initially set up at 20 major Railway Stations for rehabilitation and rescue of such children. Additional 15 stations have been approved this year for providing similar facilities and 1000 stations across the country will be covered. Awareness campaign via posters in railway coaches was launched in November, 2015. Two lakh posters have been released and distributed in trains this year. All the 55000 coaches are being covered during 2016-17. The Posters caution the passengers about the children around them who may need protection.
(Poster for Railway Coaches)
In a first of its kind, Kiosks with Child Helpline have been set up at key 24 railway stations where the identified children are brought for temporary stay before they are restored to their parents or are sent to a chidren’s home. Continuous announcements are made for passengers to keep a lookout for such children. Assistance has been provided to more than 11,000 children till date.
(Railway Childline, Guwahati)
Progress on Khoya Paya:
The Ministry of Women and Child Development, with the assistance of Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), had launched a web portal Khoya-Paya(http://khoyapaya.gov.in/) last year for reporting and searching missing children. The web portal ‘Khoya-Paya’ has information of missing and sighted children. More than 7400 users had registered on the portal (as on 26 December, 2016) and nearly 6800 cases of missing/sighted children have been reported. Nearly 2500 cases have been closed on the portal. Khoya-Paya has now been integrated with Trackchild.
Expansion of Childline :
Childline is a nation-wide initiative for rescuing and assisting children in distress conditions. In the last two years, Childline (1098) has been extended to 409 districts through a network of 778 local NGO partners. It is available in 186 Rural (districts) and 223 Urban (cities) locations with 5 Centralised Contact centres at Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai and Gurgaon.
With the expanded reach, CHILDLINE has been able to help lakhs of children and restore them to their families. It makes nearly 2.50 lakhdirect Interventions/ year.
Adoption & Mandatory Registration of all Child Care Institutions:
Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 which has come into effect this year requires all Child Care Institutions (CCIs) whether run by State Government or by voluntary or non-governmental organisations to be registered under the Act. Accordingly, Central Adoption Resource Authority(CARA) of WCD Ministry has carried out online registration of 31 State Adoption Resource Agencies, 600 District Child Protection Units, 431 Specialized Adoption Agencies and uploaded 12038 Home Study Reports on Web Platform.
In first of its kind, in January, 2016, M/o WCD initiated review of Child Care Institutions across the country through Childline India Foundation and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to review their legal status and standards of care maintained as per the Juvenile Justice Act. Till date, review has already completed in 28 states and 7 UTs. 9605 Homes covered across 675 districts. 2,630 Homes found to be un-registered.
Foster Care Guidelines:
A new system of providing foster care to children has been put in place and new guidelines have been issued. This permits children to be looked after by individual families as foster parents thereby providing a much better standard of care and protection than what these children get in the child care institutions. Foster Family is selected, approved and supervised by Child Welfare Committee (CWC). Model Guidelines for Foster Care, 2016, have been formulated by Central Government and placed in public domain on 11th November, 2016.
Aadhar Cards for Children in Child Care Institutions:
Under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme, Aadharenrolment of children below 5 years has been taken up with States/ Union Territories. As per information available from UIDAI, Aadhaar saturation among children below 5 years of age is 30.7% as on 15.11.2016. States/ UTs have been requested to organise special enrolment camps at Anganwadi centres (AWCs) twice a year in coordination with the Registrar/ Enrolment Agencies active in States/ UTs for enrolment of children below 5 years under Aadhar.
This will help the children get a permanent identity for future and also help them to access various Government services after they grow up.
Expanding Anganwadi Infrastructure:
The WCD Ministry will construct four lakh anganwadi buildings by 2019 under MGNREGS in convergence with Ministry of Rural development.
In 2015-16, 29,941 units were approved and Rs. 182.60 Crore released for construction of anganwadi buildings. In 2016-17, 63531 Units were approved and Rs. 740.07 Crore have already been released.
(Anganwadi Centre at Chainpura, Sunda)
The ICDS scheme today operates through a network of 7073 fully operational Projects and 13.49 lakh Anganwadi Centres as on 30.09.2016. The services are currently being provided to 1010.56 lakh beneficiaries of which 820.65 lakh are children under six years of age and 189.91 lakh are P&L Mothers. 345.44 lakh children of 3-6 years are provided pre-school education.
National Nutrition Mission:
National Nutrition Mission (NNM) is proposed to achieve improvement in nutritional status of children (0-6 years), adolescent girls and pregnant & lactating mothers in a time bound manner over a period of three years with the objectives of preventing & reducing under-nutrition in children (0-3 years); reducing the prevalence of anaemia among young children (6-59 months); reducing the prevalence of anaemia among women and adolescent girls (15-49 years) and reducing low birth weight. The proposed NNM would provide for real time IT based monitoring of beneficiaries and service delivery besides bringing grass root level convergence of interventions of MWCD, MoHFW, MDWS, MoRD & PRIs etc.
Direct Benefit Transfer of Anganwadi Worker Remuneration:
A system for Direct Benefit Transfer of Anganwadi Worker Remuneration has started from April, 2016, in some States/UTs to ensure efficiency in delivery process, greater inclusion, particularly, financial inclusion, de-duplication & reduction of fraud/curbing leakages. All States/UTs will be covered under this gradually. In the National Conference of State/UT Secretaries held on 13.07.2016, remaining States/UTs have assured to implement the Direct Benefit Transfer of honorarium of ICDS functionaries (AWWs/AWHs) by December, 2016. This will benefit as well as motivate about lakhs of women workers engaged in implementing the ICDS Scheme.
Restructuring of ICDS Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project (ISSNIP):
M/o WCD, with a view to bridge the gaps in the ICDS Service Delivery, is implementing International Development Association (IDA) assisted ICDS Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project (ISSNIP), in 162 high burden districts of 8 States in the country covering 3.68 lakh Aanganwadi Centers. The Project was restructured on 29th September, 2015, with a major impetus on ICT solution for better service delivery in ICDS and behaviour change for nutritional outcomes.
The major achievements of restructured ISSNIP are as follows:
- Entering a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: The Ministry signed an MoC on 20th May, 2016, with Gates Foundation to provide technical support at the National and State level for strengthening the delivery of nutrition goals. The Government has a significant focus on improving the health and lives of women and children in India, by strengthening nutrition programs in order to promote their holistic development. In sync with this focus, the four priority areas of work as part of this MoC include:
- a) Digitisation of Anganwadi centres by Development and deployment of ICT solutions for improving and strengthening ICDS Service Delivery System.
- b) Support MWCD in developing a shared national communications campaign for maternal and child nutrition among target populations.
- c) Technical Support Unit at the national and state level for strengthening their capacities to deliver nutrition especially during pre-conception, pregnancy and first two years of life.
- d) Technical support and Knowledge management support to strengthen human resource capabilities at various levels in order to deliver effective nutrition interventions.
- Launching ICT-enabled Real Time Monitoring (ICT-RTM) of ICDS: ISSNIP includes ICT-enabled Real Time Monitoring (ICT-RTM) of ICDS as a core activity. ICT-RTM are to be driven by a customized Common Application Software (ICDS- CAS), customized Common Application Software developed by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). ICT-RTM was launched by M/oWCD on 25th May, 2016. ICT-RTM would specifically help strengthen the ICDS capacity to deliver nutrition services.
- Communities Based Events: Communities based events are organised on monthly basis for all the 3.68 lakh Aanganwadis across 8 ISSNIP States. It aims to bring change in nutrition behaviour of community for better nutritional outcomes. The main events include the Godh Bharai- the commemoration of motherhood to identify the pregnancy and bring under focus of ICDS and Annaprasan- the initiation of complementary feeding for children attaining 6 months of age.
- Capacity Building of ICDS functionaries in Incremental Learning Approach: This activity involves the capacity building and strengthening of ICDS functionaries in a cascade manner through which the front line functionaries and workers are trained in identified thematic areas on a monthly basis. ISSNIP has till now conducted trainings in 6 modules in 5 States viz. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and in 3 modules in States of Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh
Comprehensive Regulation on Micro nutrient Fortification:
Food Fortification has significant role in reducing Micronutrient deficiency related disorders.WCD Ministry led the initiative with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in formulating Comprehensive Regulation on Micronutrient Fortification involving all Stakeholders.
Comprehensive regulations on fortification of food articles, namely “Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulation, 2016, were released by Food Safety & Standards Authority of India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The Logo for fortified food launched during National Summit on Fortification of Foods (16-17 October, 2016).
The ‘Group of Secretaries on Education & Health regarding food fortification’ has recommended the following:
- Double Fortification of Salt with Iodine & Iron.
- Fortification of Refined Oil and Milk with Vitamin-A & D.
- Fortification of Rice with Iron & Folic Acid.
- Proposal to introduce Fortified Food items in Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme , Mid Day Meal (MDM) & Public Distribution System (PDS) in a phased manner.
Establishment of Food Testing Laboratories:
One Central Laboratory at Faridabad and three Regional Laboratories in Mumbai, Chennai & Kolkata to test the quality of food provided under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme and other nutrition related programmes are being set up. Land has been acquired for all four laboratories and MoU signed with NBCC for construction of laboratories.
Women of India Exhibitions:
The Initiative was started in November 2014 to link producers of organic products directly to the market. Three such exhibitions have already been held in Delhi, and many more such exhibitions are proposed to be organised in centres outside Delhi.
(WCD Minister, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi at Women of India Exhibition on organic products at Dilli Haat, New Delhi)
Adopt a Home(Child Care Institution) programme:
A programme to enhance the physical, emotional, intellectual, social and moral development of children staying in the Children’s Homes with assistance from Corporate sector/ business houses under Corporate Social Responsibility
The Corporate Houses are being requested to adopt a Children Home and support in Upgrading physical infrastructure, support to healthcare in children home, as well as sponsoring higher education of children. The Guidelines for the same were issued in April, 2016. The supporters of the Programme to get recognition certificate for their contribution.
National Children’s Fund:
National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD), an autonomous body under Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) has revised its guidelines on 24th June, 2016 to provide scholarship to a child who is orphan or destitute and is residing in a Child Care Institution (CCI) and has done well in his/her school by securing atleast 70% marks. The scholarship is provided through National Children’s Fund, a trust created by WCD Ministry and managed by NIPCCD.
All India Women Journalists’ Workshops:
(First Ever All India Women Journalist Workshop held in June, 2016 at New Delhi)
The Ministry of Women and Child Development organised the first ever All India Women Journalists’ Workshop with participation from nearly 250 journalists. The conference was held to empower the women journalists with correct and timely information since journalists are a big social multiplier and can become agents of social change.
In view the success of the first workshop, it was followed by a second ever All India Women Journalists’ Workshop in which more than 100 journalists participated. Women journalists from print, electronic and online media from the length and breadth of the country including small and regional media organizations participated in the conferences.
Engagement on Social Media
The Ministry is active on social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube with followers numbering in lakhs. Social media is being used as a medium to spread awareness among the general public on issues concerning women and children, aiding positive attitude and behaviour change. This medium is also being leveraged to disseminate information on the various schemes and programmes of the government so as to increase citizen engagement.
(WCD Minister, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi holding live Q & A session on Facebook)
In response to harassment of women in cyber space, the Ministry recently launched a campaign wherein such complaints could be made directly to the social media handles of the Ministry, with assured responses. The Ministry is also running a grievance redressal cell which registers and responds to direct complaints via email from women and children across the country. The complaints cell has a dedicated email id i.e. complaint- firstname.lastname@example.org to report complaints relating to online trolling/harassment with effect from July, 2016. So far, 50 complaints have been received through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.