Skip to main content

Govt of India's public investment in infrastructure that empowers women is declining: UN Women study

By Our Representative
Sharply criticizing the Government of India for the “withdrawal of the state from the public sphere, especially that pertaining to where the majority of Indians and especially women live and labour”, a UN Women-sponsored study says that there has been “declining investment in public provisioning of… goods and services that have a direct impact on … unpaid and paid work of women.”
Especially referring to the provisioning of basic infrastructural facilities that would empower women, the study, still in its draft form, “Invisible Work, Invisible Workers”, says, while there was “a dramatic boost in budget allocations, women specific allocation as percentage of total he Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) budget has fallen from 27.85% in 2014-15 to a pathetic 2.47 today.”
The same is true of water. Thus, study, which contains spot surveys in three states – Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Telangana – by Action Aid, says, “Allocations for Swacch Bharat Abhiyan have exceeded that for National Rural Drinking Water Policy (NRDWP), reflecting a clear shift in State priorities and an increasing and worrying disconnect between water and sanitation.”
Similarly, the study says, as for budgetary allocation for care services, the implementation of the Maternity Benefit Act, for instance, “appears to have been an utter failure throughout the country, with only 35,035 women benefitting a total of Rs 60.63 crore”, with “regional implementation virtually non-existent: It was “Maharashtra Rs 28 crore to 2078 women, Telangana Rs 3 crore to 604 women, and Uttarakhand Rs. 0.02 crore to 2 women.”
Further says the study, the Central allocation of Rs 2,700 crore in 2017-18 for the Maternity Benefit Programme (MBP), formerly Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahayog Yojana, “found insufficient for the estimated 53 lakhs beneficiaries and hence eligibility has been restricted to one child”, underlining, “What this implies for the future child sex ratio is an issue of deep concern.”
As for the allocations to the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), “one of the most renowned schemes that has a direct impact on women’s work both paid and unpaid”, the study says, as proportion of the total Ministry of Child and Woman Development (MWCD) budget it is down from 88% in 2014-15 to 80% today.”
“While the number of operational anganwadis “increased by about 3,000, the number of children in pre-school education have fallen by 5%”, adding, as for the Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme it is “in a state of virtual collapse: its share of the MWCD budget has been consistently below one percent; fall in number of functioning creches by more than one fourth; decline in beneficiaries from 6 lakh to 1.6 lakh.”
Pointing towards how the Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Act, a social welfare legislation that aims to benefit workers engaged in building and other construction workers, is patently anti-women, the study says, “The facility of crèches under the BOCW Act is applicable to establishments that employ only ten workers; yet 50 women workers are required for this provision in order to get the benefit.”
“Also”, it says, “The maternity benefit under this law provides for only monetary compensation. There is no clarification relating to the formula or to the eligibility criteria, nor there are any terms and conditions determining payment. The women beneficiaries do not get leave and nor is there any guarantee of employment on return. No medical expenses are given and neither are nursing breaks, while there is no clause relating to avoidance of hazardous jobs.”

Comments

TRENDING

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Kerala land being acquired using "draconian, anti-people" National Highway Act, 1956

Counterview Desk
In a letter Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, senior activists and politicians have insisted that the Kerala government should not agree to "inhuman displacement and buid-operate-transfer (BOT) Toll system", imposed by the Government of India and the National Highway Authority of India, for widening the current National Highway (NH) 66.

Kaiga NPP expansion: Karnataka to get just 400 MW, but lose thick forest, fresh water

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to the chairman and members of the Atomic energy Commission (AEC) on the issue of Kaiga nuclear power plant (NPP) expansion plan in Karnataka, Shankar Sharma, well-known power policy analyst, has argued that that in case of expansion, the site will face “exponential increase in radiation emission risks”, underlining, “Nuclear safety experts identify such a scenario as enhanced risk for NPPs with multiple reactors and shared technical facilities."
Sharma says the questions that also be asked whether Karnataka should lose more than 54 hectares of thick forests and about 152,304 cubic meters of fresh water per day from Kali river for a meager benefit of 400 MW from the Kaiga NPP, for which “there are many benign alternative options available for the state at much lower overall costs to the state.”
Text of the letter: This has reference to the public hearing under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Rule 2006 of Ministry of Environment, Fore…

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).

Modi becoming Prime Minister now appears to be an "accident" to the people of India

By Sandeep Pandey*
Anupam Kher's film 'Accidental Prime Minister' has targeted Dr Manmohan Singh who served for two terms and may be again acceptable for the job if his party regains power. But his tormentor Narendra Modi seems to be out of breath even before his first term is over. Disillusionment with him is so widespread and deep that people of India may not bear with him for another term. As the general elections approach again the difference between the two needs to be examined.