April 5, 2021 2:56:22 am
The Delhi government’s Saheli Samanvay Kendra (SSK) scheme to ensure women’s participation in the workforce is launching with 21 such model centres in anganwadi hubs this month.
The scheme was announced in Deputy CM Manish Sisodia’s 2021-22 Budget speech, where it was stated that such kendras will be set up in 500 anganwadi hubs across all districts to “strengthen the role of women in the economy”, particularly in the wake of the livelihood crisis brought on by the pandemic.
“These hubs can be used for incubating individual start-ups and to promote the self-help group ‘Samriddhi’. Special arrangements in the hubs will be made for women and required training will be imparted to open micro-economic units and for holding meetings of self-help groups,” he had said in his speech.
The Women and Child Development (WCD) department has currently identified 21 anganwadi hubs to pilot test this initiative. “At first, ‘Saheli Samvad’ will provide platform to women and adolescent girls to deliberate and get sensitised on social themes such as health, nutrition, livelihood, rights and entitlements; get aware on matters concerning them and their children; and collectively find possible solutions through locally available resources. The platform will also train women and adolescent girls on soft skills, communication, personality development, digital technology and strengthen their entrepreneurial mindset,” said a WCD official.
Explaining the role of Samriddhi, the official said, “Under it, focus would be on mobilising and strengthening mahila mandals or SHGs or women collectives, nurturing entrepreneurship, capacity building and generating sustainable livelihood opportunities.”
Also in the pipeline are plans to make creche services available for women involved in these centres, either directly in the SSKs with the help of staff in the centre, or at nearby creches being run by the WCD.
The Indian Express has reported that a Delhi government commissioned survey found that in the sharp rise in unemployment in Delhi six months into the pandemic, women were the worst hit. Around 83% of women were out of the labour force, of whom 16.6% are graduates, 27.6% have cleared Class XII and 23.8% have studied till Class X.
WCD director Rashmi Singh said resource persons at the centres would be from various partner organisations for the scheme. Simultaneously, there will also be capacity building of fieldworkers such as anganwadi workers and supervisors.
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