Amaravati: From being a mere slogan and rhetoric, women empowerment has become a stark reality in Andhra Pradesh with Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy implementing it in the true letter and spirit.
The Chief Minister has the will and way and has demonstrated to the world what empowerment of women socially, economically and politically would be like.
The will and way have sprouted from his 3,648 km padayatra during which he had seen how the social fabric was ruffled due to gender bias and lack of access to even small amounts to women to run the house.
The Chief Minister has brought in YSR Cheyutha and YSR Asara for social and economic empowerment. Depositing the financial incentives of students into their mothers' bank accounts and registering the house sites in the name of woman of the household gives an insight to his commitment.
He has provided reservations to women in all nominated posts and nominated works. The State has never ever heard of a woman heading Market Yard Committee hitherto. Of the 728 posts of Chairpersons and Directors to the 56 BC Corporations, 365 are women. One of the Deputy Chief Ministers and Home Minister are women in YS Jagan Mohan Reddy cabinet. That’s true political empowerment.
To address malnutrition and anemia among pregnant and lactating mothers and children aged between 6-72 months, the State government has brought YSR Sampoorna Poshana Plus and YSR Sampoorna Poshana 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 1,863 Crore per annum. It was found that over 52.9 percent of the pregnant women across the State were suffering from acute anemia, while 31.9 percent of children are having low birth weight and 31.4 percent of the children are suffering from stunted growth. While YSR Sampoorna Poshana Plus is intended to supply nutritious food exclusively in 77 tribal areas covering 8,320 Anganwadi Centres, the remaining urban and rural areas will be covered under YSR Sampoorna Poshana. The two schemes cost Rs 1,100 per beneficiary every month.
The brilliance of Amma Vodi scheme is that it not only addresses the school dropout rate but also resolves the problem of child labour and checking low literacy rate. The State provides Rs 6,000 crores benefitting 43 lakh mothers across the State. Jagananna Vidyua Deevena and Jagananna Vasathi Deevena for full fees reimbursement and hostel and mess charges are also credited into the mother’s bank account.
YSR Cheyutha and Aasara schemes are 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. Women of Kapu, Ontari and Balija communities of 45-60 age group are given Rs 15,000 per annum under YSR Kapu Nestham.
In order to provide business opportunities for the women, for a 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. The women groups also have the backing of banks for soft loans.
In addition, Jagananna Jeeva Kranti was launched to distribute over 2.49 lakh sheep and goats units and 4.69 lakh units cows and buffaloes in a phased manner with a cost of Rs 5400 Crore.
Fulfilling the padyatra promise, the Chief Minister has credited Rs 6,792.21 crores towards the first installment of the total due of Rs 27,168.83 crores to banks of 87,74,674 women belonging to 8.7 lakh SHGs under YSR Aasara scheme. YSR Zero interest loans for the self-help groups would boost business opportunities.
Making the objective of 'housing for all' a reality the government has brought in an initiative to distribute house site pattas to 31 lakh poor people and the house site will be registered in the name of the woman of the household. The distribution of house site pattas will be taking place on December 25 and the first phase of construction of houses will also take off on the same day.
Disha Bill was brought in for speedy trial in cases of crime against women, where special police stations, fast track courts were also set up across the State.
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.
The empowerment of women social, economic and political was translated from mere slogan to reality in a short span of time by the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government.