December 13, 2021 1:19:09 am
After making field visits and receiving several complaints, the State Commission for Women has written to all divisional commissioners in Maharashtra about inadequate implementation of ‘Mission Vatsalya’ — a relief scheme for Covid widows —three months after its announcement.
On August 25, the women and child development department had announced the scheme for Covid widows, especially for rural districts, to provide 25 services under one roof. For the implementation of the scheme, the government instructed the formation of taluka-level committees of 13 members including tehsildar, education officer, senior inspector of police, representatives of NGOs, officers from panchayat samiti.
They are supposed to hold a meeting every week.
However, as The Indian Express reported on November 4, out of the 356 blocks, only 198 have formed the committee. There have also been complaints that officials are not attending these meetings.Now, after receiving several complaints about laxity in establishing the committees in several districts, Rupali Chakankar, chairperson of Maharashtra State Commission for Women, wrote to the divisional commissioners to set up the committees in each taluka at the earliest. There are around 18,000 Covid widows between the age of 21 and 50 years in the state. But even after three months, the programme is yet to be implemented taluka-wise.
The letter sent on December 9 reads, “It has been observed that many districts don’t have the committees to assist the widows. Also, the current ones don’t hold meetings regularly. It is very disappointing that the work at the taluka-level isn’t going as expected.”
The commission has also written to Mahila Arthik Vikas Mandal to start a separate employment scheme for Covid widows. “Continuing with our effort to strengthen the self-help groups, we are also working on a plan to provide employment to these women. We will soon submit the proposal to the state,” said Chakankar.
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