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A report by a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), in partnership with Delhi Legal Services Authority and National Legal Services Authority, has highlighted the “disconnect” between “marginalised” women and government schemes in the capital. The study was conducted on 800 marginalised women, (which include sex workers, victims of human trafficking, domestic abuse etc) and 200 transgenders in Delhi’s northwest district. It looked into whether the marginalised women had access to basis government services such as Aadhaar card, voter card, ration card, caste certificates, money under Laadli scheme and bank accounts opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.
While the sample survey revealed that more than 92 per cent of the women and transgenders had managed to get their Aadhaar cards made, access to ration card and money under the Laadli scheme and bank accounts under the PMJDY is way below 25 per cent. Centre For Advocacy and Research (CFAR), the NGO that conducted the study, said that many of the benefits of the schemes have not reached these people because of several reasons such as inability of government servants to connect with the people, lack of documents and lack of awareness about such schemes.
The survey was conducted between November 2016, and March this year. “I had not heard about the Laadli scheme till now, I have a daughter and I want to get the financial assistance the scheme provides. But without information, how will I apply?” a 22-year-old woman was quoted as saying in the report. Another woman, who had applied for her daughter’s enrollment under the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) scheme, said, “They asked me for a birth certificate for the enrollment. Before that, I did not even know about it,” she said.
A top government official from the Delhi government’s Department of Women and Child Development present at Thursday’s event where the report was launched, pointed out that there has been tremendous efforts on part of the government, but the department needs to take necessary precautions. The official cited instances of people who wanted to enroll their third and fourth girl child under the scheme, despite the fact that the schemes are limited to the first two daughters.
There has also been instances of people, who despite not being natives of Delhi, tried to avail of these schemes, and also those people who wanted to get money for their daughters’ weddings even if the girls were minors. “We have to be cautious about these attempted frauds, we can’t allow irregularities… and at times, illegalities do happen,” the official said. “This study is not a reflection of your government’s work,” said CFAR Executive Director Akhila Sivadas, adding “We aren’t saying you evaded your responsibilities, it is just a ‘need assessment’.”