As Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks of ‘Stree Shakti (women’s empowerment)’, the Department of Personnel and Training has proposed that all ministries join hands to set up crèches in each of the central government buildings for children of their women employees.
In meetings chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, officials were told to assess the number of mothers that would avail of the facility. For opening a crèche, the minimum number required has been fixed at 15 women employees.
One of the departments in each government building housing the ministries would have to provide the space for the crèche. The DoPT would then provide Rs 5 lakh to furnish it to provide a child-friendly environment. The ministry that provides the space, which would be the administrative machinery for that crèche, would hire, train and pay wages to nurses to look after children from 9 am to 5.30 pm.
The available services at the crèches would include supplementary nutrition, emergency medicines and free toys through the DoPT’s Grih Kalyan Kendra, which runs crèches in government colonies throughout the national capital.
The crèches are expected to be a model for the private sector after an attempt in 2006 to make it mandatory for all workplaces employing 20 or more women to provide for crèches was shelved for fear that it may turn private sector off women employees.
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