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Social welfare, simply put, refers to governmental assistance of economic value to a society that requires it, in order to maintain the general well-being of the citizens. The ministries of the Government of India regularly update or incorporate new social welfare schemes where and when required. Catering to handicapped persons, the aged and destitute, widows and orphans, these schemes are a necessity in a backward place such as Sirsa.
Social Welfare Schemes in Sirsa
As such, Sirsa has several active social welfare schemes for the betterment of its people. Here are they:
This scheme commenced in 1980. As per this scheme, widows would be provided with a sum of INR 300 per month as financial assistance. This scheme is only valid for widows whose annual income is below INR 10,000 per annum, provided they are also permanent residents of Haryana. In the year 2004-05, a sum of INR 6,32,74,700/- was disbursed under this scheme.
Free Health Check-ups
As per this programme, medical officers provide free health check-up for pregnant and nursing mothers, and children from the age of 6 months to 6 years. Medicines and other medical aid is provided by these medical officers, in collaboration with the Integrated Children Development Scheme (ICDA) staff in AWC's. Severe cases of malnourishment are redirected to civil hospitals.
National Maternity Benefit Scheme
According to this scheme, sum of INR 500 is disbursed to pregnant mothers hailing from families that fall below the poverty line.
Old Age Pension
Social Security is provided to old destitute in Sirsa as per the Old Age Pension Scheme that was established in 1964. The beneficiaries must be over sixty years of age and must be permanent residents of Haryana, and are entitled to a sum of INR 300 per month if they comply.
Pension to Physically Handicapped
This Scheme commenced in 1981. As per this scheme, any physically handicapped resident of Haryana above eighteen years of age is entitled to a sum of INR 300 per month, provided their annual income is below INR 10,000 per annum.
Social Welfare Agencies in Sirsa
Prominent Social Welfare Agencies in Sirsa are:
District Red Cross Society
The Red Cross Society was established in 1975 in Sirsa, and has been working towards the betterment and welfare of the poor, needy, widows, and physically handicapped people of the society. The primary objective of the Red Cross Society is to provide ready relief to injured and suffering people, hospital welfare, child and maternity welfare and providing relief to soldiers. It also organizes blood transfusion services, family planning programmes and emergency relief of varied types. The Red Cross Society functions under the guidance of the Deputy Commissioner of Sirsa.
In 1987, the Red Cross Society founded an Orthopedically Handicapped Rehabilitation Centre in association with the Social Justice & Empowerment Department of Haryana. Here, workshops as well as physiotherapy units have been established to help the handicapped.
The Red Cross Society is also running a Medicine Bank and X-Ray Unit in Sirsa’s Civil Hospital. Here, free medicines are provided to the poor and needy. The Society also provides ambulance services and first-aid training in schools and factories. A Family Planning Centre and Maternity & Child Health Centre has been established in collaboration with the Health Department and the Red Cross Society, wherein free vaccines for children are given in addition to family planning advice.
Integrated Child Development Services Scheme
Photo Source : Wikipedia
The Scheme has been around since 1977, and covers seven projects under it.
Supplementary Nutrition Programme
As per this programme, children between six months to six years of age, and pregnant or lactating mothers are provided with supplementary nutrition, which includes 300 calories and 10-12gms of protein for children, and 500 calories and 20-25gms of protein for expecting or lactating mothers.
This programme targets children between three to six years of age.
Immunization and vaccination services are also provided by ICDS to the beneficiaries covered by AWCs in Sirsa, in association with the Health Department.
Health & Nutrition Programme
This programme targets women between the ages of 15-45, who are provided with health and nutrition education.
Personal Hygiene & Sanitation
Under this programme, the children and women covered in ICDS Programme are educated about the importance of personal hygiene & basic sanitation.
Adolescent Girls Scheme
This scheme commenced in 1994 by the Central Government, wherein girls between 15 to 18 years of age are benefitted. Vocational training of stitching, painting, cutting, embroidery, etc, is given to them, in addition to educational talks about hygience, sanitation, fundamental rights, etc.
Apni Beti Apna Dhan
This Scheme was started in 1994 by the Haryana State Government. People belonging to Schedule Caste, Backward Class and Below Poverty Line are covered in this scheme. A sum of INR 500 is disbursed to mothers of young girls.
Balika Samridhi Yojna
Started in 1997, this Scheme covers families who fall below the poverty line, and helps them by depositing a sum of INR 500 in the account of a girl child.
National Maternity Benefit Scheme
Under this Scheme, a sum of INR 500 is given to pregnant women hailing from families that fall below the poverty line.
The Department of Women and Child Development
Effective since 1992, the Department of Women and Child Development is an agency responsible for overseeing the amelioration of women and children in Sirsa, Haryana. This department plans and formulates policies and programmes, and helps coordinate the efforts of NGOs and governmental organizations related to this field. Their basic vision is the social and economic empowerment of women, the eradication of sexual discrimination, and ensuring that each child is given a life free from violence and poverty. The Department of Women and Child Development works closely with NGOs like World Bank, UNICEF, UNFPA, etc to help achieve these objectives. A Working Women Hostel has also been established in Sirsa, containing twenty four rooms which provide boarding for working women at a nominal cost.