Affirming that Andhra Pradesh has been witnessing a golden era of women empowerment, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has said that during the past two and a half years the government has been working towards empowering women politically, socially, economically and the collective wisdom of the voters reflected in all the election, including Kuppam.
The various welfare schemes spoke in the form of votes in local body elections where the vote share of YSRCP has increased manifold decimating the Opposition to a shambles, the Chief Minister said amidst thumping of desk during a discussion on Women Empowerment on the opening day of the Assembly session on Thursday.
Listing out various initiatives taken up by the government in the last two and half years, the Chief Minister stated that Amma Vodi scheme has been made available to almost 44.50 lakh mothers for sending their children to schools, which addresses both school dropout rate and the problem of child labour by providing Rs 6500 crore every year. So far, Rs13,023 crore has been directly credited into the accounts of the beneficiaries without discrimination or corruption.Similarly, Jagananna Vidya Deevena and Jagananna Vasathi Deevena for full fees reimbursement and hostel and mess charges were also credited into the mother’s bank account. He said the state government has credited Rs 5,573 crore into the accounts of 18.51 lakh mothers under Vidya Deevena and Rz 2,270 crore to 15.57 lakh mothers under Vasati Devena.
Speaking on YSR Pension Kanuka, he took a dig at the previous TDP government, which distributed pensions only to those with Janma Bhoomi committee recommendations and gave only Rs 1000 every month until October 2018. The total expenditure during the TDP regime was only Rs 400 crore each month with only 39 lakh beneficiaries. In contrast, YSRCP government has increased the pension amount to Rs 2250 reaching to 61.73 lakh beneficiaries right at their doorstep and covering 98 percent disbursal with a total expenditure of Rs 1500 crore every month. Of the total 61.73 lakh beneficiaries, 36.7 lakh are women receiving about Rs 21,899 crore.
Under YSR Aasara 78.76 lakh women have received Rs 12,758crores in the last two years as part of waiving outstanding loans of women self-help groups. He said that the previous TDP government had ditched the zero-interest loan scheme, collapsing the system, which got a respite from Aasara in the current government.
YSR Cheyutha scheme is focused to empower women between 45-60 years belonging to the weaker sections and minorities through entrepreneurship in dairy, grocery, and other chosen fields with an annual incentive of Rs 18,750 for a period of four years meeting an expenditure of Rs 8,944 crore in the last two years benefiting 24.56 lakh women. In order to provide business opportunities for the women, for sustainable income and a safe investment, the State government had signed MoUs with giant companies like AMUL, Proctor and Gamble, ITC, Allana Group, Reliance, among others, where women are earning an additional income upto Rs 15,000 every month.
Taking a step forward, under 17,000 YSR Jagananna colonies 31 lakh house site pattas have been distributed covering one-fourth of the population. The construction of 15.60 lakh houses has been started, which would create an asset of about Rs 5-10 lakh. He said that the opposition parties have been trying to stall the programme by moving to courts.
To address malnutrition among pregnant ladies, lactating mothers, and children aged below six years, the State government has brought YSR Sampoorna Poshanam Plus and YSR Sampoorna Poshanam schemes to provide supplementary nutrition through Anganwadi centres. About 30.16 lakh mothers and children are being benefited from the two schemes, where the State has been spending Rs 1900 Crore per annum, while the previous government had spent only Rs 500 crore. The anganwadis are also serving as foundation schools, foundation satellite schools imparting English education from early stages.
Also, women of Kapu, Ontari and Balija communities of 45-60 age group are given Rs 15,000 per annum under YSR Kapu Nestham benefiting 3.82 lakh women at an expenditure of Rs 982 crore. Soon, from January 9 EBC Nestam will be launched to support the economically backward women of upper castes.
The Chief Minister said that 50 percent reservation was provided to women in all nominated posts and nominated works. Of the 202 Chairperson posts in Corporations, 51 percent (102) are women and 586 are women among 1154 Directors.
For the first of its kind by any state in the country, Andhra Pradesh had rolled out special initiatives like Disha Police Stations, special courts, and made Disha Act, which was sent of Centre’s approval. Disha Bill was brought in for speedy trial in cases of crime against women, where 18 special police stations, 13 fast-track courts are being set up across the State along with forensic labs. Disha App was downloaded by over 90 lakh women and saved women through SOS with police intervention. Law and Order has been strengthened prioritizing the crime against women for speedy action and equipped 18 vehicles for crime scene management. The investigation of serious crimes against the women was also brought down to 42 days and geo-tagged sexual offenders
Taking strict measures under the abolition of liquor, the State government has closed down belt shops and permit rooms and further reduced the number of outlets. Earlier, the sale of IMFL was 34 lakh cases but now dropped to 21.22 lakh cases. Similarly, the sale of beer which was 17 lakh cases has now come down to 7 lakh cases.
Under Swechha 10 lakh students studying in 10388 government schools are being provided with branded sanitary napkins free of cost and over 56,703 govt schools are being refurbished through Nadu-Nedu scheme, including the toilets.