- October 26, 2020
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: MMN
WHAT IS EMPOWERMENT?
- Strengthening the capacities of individuals, eliciting their participation in the development process
- Mobilising people’s initiatives in the development process
- According to World Bank’s empowerment stands for ‘the expansion of assets and capabilities of poor people to participate in, negotiate with, influence control, and hold accountable institutions that affect their lives’.
- The process of gaining control over self, ideology, material and knowledge resources, which determine power may be termed empowerment
CORE ELEMENTS OF EMPOWERMENT
(a) Access to Information
(b) Inclusion and participation
(c) Accountability; and
(d) Local organised capacity and subsequent networking with wider movement groups to create a climate of pressure on the holders of power
DIMENSIONS OF EMPOWERMENT
1. Dimension of legitimacy of Power:
The centrality of the notion of empowerment is located in the dynamics of sharing, distribution and redistribution of power, which has a basis of legitimacy.
Max Weber has talked about three types of authority, which have three distinctive bases of legitimacy.
- rational legal authority draws its legitimacy from the established rules and procedures,
- traditional authority from the established values, norms, mores, customs, traditions etc.,
- charismatic authority from the personalised capacity or aura.
2. Authority in general is used in the following contexts
- Regulatory, based on one’s formal position and status in relation to others;
- Expert knowledge, where the expert may possess the power to define ordinary people or to withhold knowledge from those whose well-being is affected by it; and
- Relationship ability or interpersonal skills, where power comes from interpersonal influence based on abilities to work with people.
3. Dynamics of Power Relations
- Ability to exercise power in a given context as having power is not the same as exercising it.
- Seizing or creating opportunities in the environment, changing structural conditions
- Relations of symmetry, where relatively equal amounts and type of power and authority, are exercised and are based on reciprocity.
- Relations of asymmetry, involving unequal amount and types of authority and are those of subordination and super ordination
4. Principle of Change and Transformation
- Empowerment is concerned with the transformation of the structure of subordination.
- It implies a process of redistribution of power within and between families/societies and a process aiming at social equality, which can be achieved only by disempowering some structures, system and institutions.
- Emancipation was associated with a view of progress as a movement towards freedom and equality. Over the years, it has been circumscribed in a general sense of gaining freedom and especially in the process of entry of the disadvantaged into the mainstream
EMPOWERMENT AND SOCIAL MOVEMENT
In the wake of the proliferation of new social movements, the dimensions of new collective identity formation and resources mobilisation have got added emphasis.
Social movements grow around relationships of new social identity that are voluntarily conceived ‘to empower’ members in defense of this identity.
A social movement is a collective actor constituted by individuals who understand themselves to have common interest, and at least some significant part of their social existence, a common identity.
Process of empowerment is to be understood in the context of transformative politics.
- Empowerment deals with the process of gaining power by way of transforming the pre-existing arrangement of sharing and distribution of power.
- The pre-existing arrangement(s) of distribution of power (legitimate power/authority) is but hierarchical in nature with a powerful few at the social and economic command, deciding the mainstream of the society, polity and the economy.
- As the normative, institutional, ideological foundations of the society legitimise this process of unequal distribution of power, from the perspective of the marginalised sections of the society, empowerment implies a process of gaining power by transforming the pre-existing normative, ideological and institutional arrangements.
- Indeed empowerment is a long drawn process and cannot be achieved within the given arrangements without a proactive State intervention.
- In this backdrop, the notion of empowerment has been widely integrated with the development strategy of the state since early 1990s.
PARADIGM SHIFT IN DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY AND EMERGENCE OF THE NOTION OF EMPOWERMENT
- The post-colonial developing world since early 1970s, has experienced a phenomenal shift in the development strategy of the marginalised (who were otherwise known as the deprived, underprivileged, disadvantaged, weaker sections, dispossessed, socially and economically depressed groups etc.).
- For example, immediately after independence, India adopted a developmental strategy of ‘growth with stability’ with the basic thrust on industrialisation, agricultural modernisation, expansion of infrastructure, education and mass communication.
- However, in the backdrop of the declining access of a vast number of people to the means of livelihood security, literacy/education, health care facilities, housing and other basic necessities of life, the philosophy of ‘social justice’ was integrated in the development discourse in 1970s.
- Again, since early 1990s, especially in the wake of globalisation, the strategy of ‘empowerment with development’ has been adopted to integrate the marginalised sections into the mainstream
World Social Development Summit, 1995
Talks about ‘people’s initiatives’, ‘people’s empowerment’ and ‘strengthening capacities of the people’.
Regarding the objectives of development, it specifically mentions that empowering people particularly women, to strengthen their capacities is the main objective of development and its principal resource.
Empowerment requires the full participation of people in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of decisions determining the functioning and well-being of the societies.
To ensure the full participation of the people, it is pointed out that State should provide ‘a stable legal framework’ in accordance with the ‘Constitution, laws and procedures consistent with international laws and obligations’ which promotes among the other things, the encouragement of ‘partnership with free and representative organisations of civil society, strengthening of the abilities and opportunities of civil society and local communities to develop their own organisations, resources and activities’.
World Development Report 1997
- In view of the collapse of the command and control economies, fiscal crisis of the welfare states, explosion in humanitarian emergencies in several parts of the world, growing lack of confidence in the governance by the private investors, increase in the corruption and poverty, various dramatic events especially the technological change in the world economy on the one hand, and the growing discontent of the people, manifestation of grass-roots mobilisation and increasing pressure of the civil society on the other, a redefinition of the State’s responsibilities was suggested as a strategy for the solution of the some of these problems.
- According to World Bank (1997), this will include strategic selection of the collective actions that States will try to promote, coupled with greater efforts to take the burden off the State, by involving citizens and communities in the delivery of the collective goods.
A REDEFINED ROLE OF THE STATE
(a) all initiatives for empowerment of the marginalised groups should be in accordance with the prescribed rule of the land.
(b) State will selectively co-opt peoples’ initiatives as and when required.
(c) the civil society organisations would play a significant role for empowerment of the marginalised.
The civil society is, together with State and market, one of the three spheres that interface in the making of the democratic societies. Civil society is the sphere in which social movements become organised.
Emphasis has been
(a) on the increasing roles of the civil societies “to take burden off the State, by involving citizen and communities in the delivery of the collective goods” (World Bank, 1997)
(b) on “strengthening of the abilities and opportunities of civil society and local communities” to ensure the process of empowerment of the marginalised in society.
Civil society represents a vision of politics and democracy that is State-centered and that has taken root in contemporary social movements and non-governmental organisations
Civil society is the terrain where the State, people and the market interact and where people wage war against the hegemony of the market and the State.
However in the contemporary development initiatives, there has been a process of co-option of the civil society organisations by the State and in may places civil society organisations have emerged to be the states in disguise to hegemonise over the local beneficiaries
MARGINALISATION AND THE MARGINALISED: TARGET OF EMPOWERMENT
Marginalisation in the conventional parlance is a complex process of relegating specific group(s) of people to the lower or the outer edge of the society. It effectively pushes these groups of people to the margin of the society following the parameters of exclusion and inclusion economically, politically, culturally, and socially.
1. Denials and deprivations
- Economically denies a large section of the society equal access to productive resources, avenues for the realisation of their productive human potential, and opportunities for their full capacity utilisation.
- Politically, this process of relegation denies these people to have equal access to the formal power structure and participation in the decision-making processes leading to their subordination to and dependency on the economically and the politically dominant groups of the society
- Culturally excluded from the mainstream of the society becoming the ‘part society with part culture’, ‘outsider for within’, alienated and disintegrated.
- Socially ignorant, illiterate, uneducated and dependent. Devoid of the basic necessities of life, they are relegated to live in the margin of the society with a subhuman existence.
2. Artificial structure of hierarchy
- The natural differentiation between men and women, linguistic or ethnic groups and so on are put in an order of hierarchy with the guiding principle of domination and subordination.
- This process of hierarchisation has arranged social groups in steep ordering of people, with a powerful few at the social and economic command deciding the mainstream of the society, polity and the economy.
- Powerless majority, occupying the bottom of the socio-economic hierarchy and surviving at the periphery of the social order.
3. Bases of legitimacy and reproduction
- The process of marginalisation has also been historically embedded in a socio-cultural context.
- Significantly there are strong institutional, normative and ideological bases, stemming out of the primordial interpretation of the institutional and normative arrangements of caste, ethnicity, race, gender, patriarchy, religion and so on, to provide legitimacy to the processes of marginalisation.
- Again, the ongoing processes of socialisation, education, politicisation, enculturation etc contribute to their reproduction in the society.
- Thus over time the socially constructed marginalised categories tend to appear to be the empirical categories the low caste, tribes, women, blacks and so on.
4. The Human Development Report (1996), has drawn attention to the realities of ‘jobless’, ‘voiceless’, ‘ruthless’, ‘fruitless’ and ‘futureless’ growth, all of which contribute, directly into creating marginalised population.
Marginalised groups in India
The social categories such as the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs), educationally backward minorities, women, children, aged, spatial categories like backward/remote village and slum dwellers.
Economic categories including people living below poverty line, petty artisans, landless agricultural labour, semi-landless marginal cultivators, unskilled or semiskilled construction labours, workers of the unorganised sectors etc.,
Special categories like the physically challenged etc.,
Women’s Empowerment has been an issue of immense discussions and contemplation over the last few decades world-wide. This as an agenda has been on top of the lists of most government plans & programs as well. Efforts have been made on a regular basis across nations to address this issue and enhance the socio-economic status of women
ISSUES AND CHALLENGES
1. Selective abortion and female infanticide
It is the most common practice for years in India in which abortion of female fetus is performed in the womb of mother after the fetal sex determination and sex selective abortion by the medical professionals.
2. Sexual harassment
It is the form of sexual exploitation of a girl child at home, streets, public places, transports, offices, etc by the family members, neighbors, friends or relatives.
3. Dowry and Bride burning
It is another problem generally faced by women of low or middle class family during or after the marriage. Parents of boys demand a lot of money from the bride’s family to be rich in one time. Groom’s family perform bride burning in case of lack of fulfilled dowry demand. In 2005, around 6787 dowry death cases were registered in India according to the Indian National Crime Bureau reports.
4. Disparity in education
The level of women education is less than men still in the modern age. Female illiteracy id higher in the rural areas. Where over 63% or more women remain unlettered.
5. Domestic violence
It is like endemic and widespread disease affects almost 70% of Indian women according to the women and child development official. It is performed by the husband, relative or other family member.
6. Child Marriages
Early marriage of the girls by their parents in order to be escaped from dowry. It is highly practiced in the rural India.
7. Inadequate Nutrition
Inadequate nutrition in the childhood affects women in their later life especially women belonging to the lower middle class and poor families.
8. Low status in the family
It is the abuse or violence against women.
9. Women are considered as inferior to men
So they are not allowed to join military services.
10. Status of widows
Widows are considered as worthless in the Indian society. They are treated poorly and forced to wear white clothes.
ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN
- Women comprise the majority of the population below the poverty line.
- The harsh realities of intra-household and social discrimination, macro-economic policies and poverty eradication programmes will specifically address the needs and problems of such women.
- Steps to be taken for mobilization of poor women and convergence of services, by offering them a range of economic and social options, along with necessary support measures to enhance their capabilities.
- In order to enhance women’s access to credit for consumption and production, the establishment of new and strengthening of existing micro-credit mechanisms and micro-finance institution will be undertaken so that the outreach of credit is enhanced.
Women and Economy
- Women’s perspectives will be included in designing and implementing macro-economic and social policies by institutionalizing their participation in such processes.
- Their contribution to socio-economic development as producers and workers will be recognized in the formal and informal sectors (including home based workers) and appropriate policies relating to employment and to her working conditions will be drawn up.
- Such measures could include: Reinterpretation and redefinition of conventional concepts of work wherever necessary e.g. in the Census records, to reflect women’s contribution as producers and workers.
- Globalization has presented new challenges for the realization of the goal of women’s equality, the gender impact of which has not been systematically evaluated fully.
- However, from the micro-level studies that were commissioned by the Department of Women & Child Development, it is evident that there is a need for re-framing policies for access to employment and quality of employment.
- Strategies will be designed to enhance the capacity of women and empower them to meet the negative social and economic impacts, which may flow from the globalization process.
Women and Agriculture
- In view of the critical role of women in the agriculture and allied sectors, as producers, concentrated efforts will be made to ensure that benefits of training, extension and various programmes will reach them in proportion to their numbers.
Women and Industry
- The important role played by women in electronics, information technology and food processing and agro industry and textiles has been crucial to the development of these sectors.
- They would be given comprehensive support in terms of labour legislation, social security and other support services to participate in various industrial sectors
- Suitable measures will be taken to enable women to work on the night shift in factories.
- The provision of support services for women, like child care facilities, including crèches at work places and educational institutions, homes for the aged and the disabled will be expanded and improved to create an enabling environment and to ensure their full cooperation in social, political and economic life.
- Women-friendly personnel policies will also be drawn up to encourage women to participate effectively in the developmental process.
SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN
- Equal access to education for women and girls. Special measures will be taken to eliminate discrimination, universalize education, eradicate illiteracy, create a gender-sensitive educational system, increase enrolment and retention rates of girls and improve the quality of education to facilitate life-long learning as well as development of occupation/vocation/technical skills by women.
- Gender sensitive curricula would be developed at all levels of educational system in order to address sex stereotyping as one of the causes of gender discrimination.
- The reduction of infant mortality and maternal mortality, which are sensitive indicators of human development, is a priority concern. This policy reiterates the national demographic goals for Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) set out in the National Population Policy 2000.
- Account the reproductive rights of women to enable them to exercise informed choices, their vulnerability to sexual and health problems together with endemic, infectious and communicable diseases such as malaria, TB, and water borne diseases as well as hypertension and cardio-pulmonary diseases.
- The social, developmental and health consequences of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases to be tackled from a gender perspective
- Strict implementation of registration of births and deaths would be ensured and registration of marriages would be made compulsory.
- National Population Policy (2000) to population stabilization, this Policy recognizes the critical need of men and women to have access to safe, effective and affordable methods of family planning of their choice and the need to suitably address the issues of early marriages and spacing of children
Women in Difficult Circumstances
- In recognition of the diversity of women’s situations and in acknowledgement of the needs of specially disadvantaged groups, measures and programmes to be undertaken to provide them with special assistance.
- These groups include women in extreme poverty, destitute women, women in conflict situations, women affected by natural calamities, women in less developed regions, the disabled widows, elderly women, single women in difficult circumstances, women heading households, those displaced from employment, migrants, women who are victims of marital violence, deserted women and prostitutes etc.
Violence against women
- All forms of violence against women, physical and mental, whether at domestic or societal levels, including those arising from customs, traditions or accepted practices shall be dealt with effectively with a view to eliminate its incidence
Rights of the Girl Child
- All forms of discrimination against the girl child and violation of her rights shall be eliminated by undertaking strong measures both preventive and punitive within and outside the family.
- There to be special emphasis on the needs of the girl child and earmarking of substantial investments in the areas relating to food and nutrition, health and education, and in vocational education. In implementing programmes for eliminating child labour, there should be a special focus on girl children.
- Availabilityof adequate financial, human and market resources to implement the Policy will be managed by concerned Departments, financial credit institutions and banks, private sector, civil society and other connected institutions.
SCHEMES FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana
- Launched on January 22, 2015, in Panipat, Haryana, it aims to generate awareness and also improve the efficiency of welfare services for the girl child.
- The initial aim of the campaign was to address the declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) but has come to include gender-biased sex-selective eliminations, and propagating education, survival, and protection of the girl child. It is being implemented through a national campaign and focussed multi-sectoral action in 100 selected districts low in CSR, covering all states and UTs.
- Under the purview of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the government launched Mahila-E-Haat in 2016.
- It is a bilingual online marketing platform that leverages technology to help aspiring women entrepreneurs, self-help groups, and NGOs to showcase their products and services.
- Among the many services provided by Mahila-E-Haat is facilitating direct contact between the vendors and buyers, sensitisation, advocacy, training, packing and soft intervention workshops, and offering a web-based approach
Mahila Shakti Kendra
- The government launched the Mahila Shakti Kendra in 2017 to empower rural women with opportunities for skill development, employment, digital literacy, health and nutrition.
- The Mahila Shakti Kendras will work through community engagement through student volunteers in the 115 most backward districts.
- Each Mahila Shakti Kendra will provide an interface for rural women to approach the government to avail of their entitlements through training and capacity building. It works at the National, State, District, and Block levels.
Working Women Hostel
- The government launched the Working Women Hostels to ensure availability of safe, convenient accommodation for working family, along with daycare facilities for their children, wherever possible in urban, semi-urban and rural areas.
Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP)
- The STEP scheme was set up to provide skills to women so that they can take up gainful employment.
- It also provides the right competencies and training for women to become entrepreneurs. Open to every woman above the age of 16, it is run through a grant given to an institution/organisation including NGOs directly.
- According to the Ministry website, the assistance under STEP Scheme will be available in any sector for imparting skills related to employability and entrepreneurship.
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana
- Falling under the ambit of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme, the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is a government-backed savings scheme for girl children.
- The account can be opened at any India Post office or a branch of an authorised commercial bank anytime between the birth of the girl child and till the age of 10 by a parent or guardian.
To empower women there are some following laws?
- Equal Remuneration Act-1976;
- Dowry Prohibition Act-1961;
- Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act-1956,
- Medical termination of Pregnancy Act-1971;
- Maternity Benefit Act-1961;
- Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act-1987;
- Prohibition of Child Marriage Act-2006;
- Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act-1994;
- Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place (Prevention, Protection and) Act-2013.
The National Commission of Women (NCW) was started in 1992 to review the constitutional and legal safeguard of women, recommend remedial measures, facilitate grievance redressal, and advise the government on policy matters
Dalit’s suffer from extreme social, educational, and economic backwardness arising out of the age-old practice of untouchability and certain others on account of lack of infrastructure facilities and geographical isolation, and who need special consideration for safeguarding their interests and for their accelerated socio-economic development.
- A significant proportion of India’s Dalit women face verbal abuse, physical assault, sexual harassment and assault, domestic violence and rape.
- The use and abuse of Dalit bonded labourers remains endemic within a range of occupations. Children are particularly vulnerable.
- Young Dalit girls suffer systematic sexual abuse in temples, serving as prostitutes for men from dominant castes.
- An estimated 1.3 million Dalits in India make their living through the vile, inhuman and outlawed practice of manual scavenging.
- Dalits are often limited from equal and meaningful political participation.
Non-implementation of legislation
- Legal mechanisms to protect Dalits are in place, but their implementation remains very weak. Consequently, atrocities against Dalits are almost inevitably committed with impunity
- The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955: In pursuance of Article 17 of the Constitution of India, the Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955 was enacted. The Act extends to the whole of India and provides punishment for the practice of untouchability. It is implemented by the respective State Governments and Union Territory Administrations.
- Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989: Assistance is provided to States/ UTs for implementation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Financial assistance is provided to the States/ UTs for implementation of these Acts, by way of relief to atrocity victims, an incentive for inter-caste marriages, awareness generation, setting up of exclusive Special courts, etc.
- National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC): Set up to finance income-generating activities of Scheduled Caste beneficiaries living below double thepoverty line limits.
- National Safai Karamchari Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC): It is another corporation which provides credit facilities to beneficiaries amongst SafaiKaramcharis, manual scavengers, and their dependents for income generating activities for socio-economic development through State Channelizing Agencies
- Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes: The objective of the fund is to promoteentrepreneurship amongst the Scheduled Castes who are oriented towards innovation and growth technologies and to provide concessional finance to the scheduled caste entrepreneurs.
- The Stand Up India scheme – aims at providing people belonging to the scheduled caste or scheduled tribe or women of the country a loan between Rs.10 lakhs to Rs.1 crore, based on their requirement. The aim is to promote entrepreneurship among them.
- Tribal lands were occupied by moneylenders, zamindars and traders by advancing them loans etc.
- Opening of mines in the heart of tribal habitat and even a few factories provided wage labor as well as opportunities for factory employment.
Poverty and Indebtedness
- Majority tribes live under poverty line. The tribes follow many simple occupations based on simple technology.
- Most of the occupation falls into the primary occupations such as hunting, gathering, and agriculture.
Health and Nutrition
- In many parts of India tribal population suffers from chronic infections and diseases out of which water borne diseases are life threatening.
- They also suffer from deficiency diseases. The Himalayan tribes suffer from goiter due to lack of iodine. Leprosy and tuberculosis are also common among them. Infant mortality was found to be very high among some of the tribes.
- Educationally the tribal population is at different levels of development but overall the formal education has made very little impact on tribal groups.
- Due to contact with other cultures, the tribal culture is undergoing a revolutionary change.
- Due to influence of Christian missionaries the problem of bilingualism has developed which led to indifference towards tribal language
Concept of Private Property
- The advent of the concept of private property in land has also adversely affected tribals whose community-based forms of collective ownership were placed at a disadvantage in the new system.
- Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest’s Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006 popularly known as Forest Rights Act, 2006 tried to restore this status quo and ownership of the tribals but its implementation is not up to the mark.
- Many tribal concentration regions and states have also been experiencing the problem of heavy in migration of non-tribals in response to the pressures of development.
- The industrial areas of Jharkhand have suffered dilution of the tribal share of population.
Problem of separatism
- The divide and rule policy adopted by the British did a lot of damage to the tribal community of India.
- The Criminal Tribes Act which the British introduced gave an impression that the tribals were either criminals or anti socials.
- All these activities alienated tribals which continued even in the post independent India.
PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE TRIBAL GROUPS
While some tribal communities have adopted a mainstream way of life at one end of the spectrum, there are 75 Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs), at the other, who are characterized by
(a) a pre-agriculture level of technology,
(b) a stagnant or declining population
(c ) extremely low literacy and
(d) a subsistence level of economy.
- Among the 75 listed PVTG’s the highest number are found in Odisha (13), followed by Andhra Pradesh (12), Bihar including Jharkhand (9) Madhya Pradesh including Chhattisgarh (7) Tamil Nadu (6) Kerala and Gujarat having five groups each. The remaining PVTGs live in West Bengal (3) Maharashtra (3), two each in Karnataka and Uttarakhand and one each in Rajasthan, Tripura and Manipur. All the four tribal groups in Andamans, and one in Nicobar Islands, are recognised as PVTGs.
- The five PVTGS residing in Andamans are Great Andamanese, Jarwas, Onges, Shompens and North Sentinelese.
- The Saharia people of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthanare the largest among the PVTGs with population more than 4 lakhs.
|Kerala||Cholanaikayan (a section of Kattunaickans), Kadar, Kattunayakan, Kurumbas, Koraga, Irulas|
|Bihar and Jharkhand||Asurs, Birhor, Birjia, Hill Kharia, Konvas, Mal Paharia, Parhaiyas, Sauda|
|Andhra Pradesh and Telangana|
|Bodo Gadaba, Bondo Poroja, Chenchu, Dongria Khond, Gutob Gadaba, Khond Poroja, Kolam, Kondareddis, Konda Savaras, Kutia Khond, Parengi Poroja, Thoti|
|Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh||Abujh Macias, Baigas, Bharias, Hill Korbas, Kamars Saharias, Birhor.|
|Maharashtra||Katkaria (Kathodia), Kolam, Maria Gond.|
|Tamil Nadu |
|Kattu Nayakans, Kotas, Kurumbas, Irulas, Paniyans Todas.|
|Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand||Buxas, Rajis|
EMPOWERMENT OF TRIBALS
1. Constitutional Provisions and Safeguards:
- Article 164 provides for a Ministry of Tribal Welfare in each of the State of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa which have large concentration of Scheduled Tribes population. These Ministries are required to look after the welfare of the Scheduled Tribes in their respective States.
- Article 244 provides for the inclusion of a Fifth Schedule in the Constitution for incorporating provisions for the administration of Scheduled Areas and Tribes of the States which have sizeable tribal population (other than those of Assam)
- Article 275 provides for the grant of special funds by the Union Government to State Government for promoting the welfare of Scheduled Tribes and providing them with a better administration.
2. Representation in Legislatures and Panchayats:
- The Constitution of India prescribes protection and safeguards for Scheduled Tribes with the object of promoting their educational and economic interests. Under Article 330 and 332 of the Indian Constitution, seats have been reserved for Scheduled Tribes in Lok Sabha and state Vidhan Sabhas.
- Following the introduction of Panchayati Raj, Suitable safeguards have been provided for proper representation” of the members of the Scheduled Tribes by reserving seats for them in the Gram Panchayats, Block Panchayats, District Panchayats etc
3. Reservation in the Service:
- Government has made provisions for their adequate representation in the services.
4. Administration of Scheduled and Tribal Areas:
- ‘Scheduled Areas’ have been declared in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan. The scheme of administration of’ Scheduled Areas under the Fifth Schedule visualises a division of responsibility between the State and Union Governments.
5. Tribes’ Advisory council:
- The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution provides for the setting up a Tribes’ Advisory Council in each of the States having Scheduled Areas. According to this provision, Tribes’ Advisory Councils have been set up so far in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan and West Bengal.
- The duty of these Councils is to advise the Government on such matters concerning the welfare of Scheduled Tribes and development of Scheduled Areas.
6. Educational Facilities:
- Measures to provide educational facilities have been taken by the Government Emphasis is being laid on vocational and technical training.
- According to these measures, concessions, stipends, scholarships, books, stationery and other equipments are provided. Residential schools have been set up for them. Eg: Ekalavya model schools.
- The Central Government awards scholarships to deserving students for higher studies in foreign countries. Seventeen and half per cent of the merit scholarships are granted by the Centre, to deserving students of lower income groups.
8. Economic Opportunities:
- A large number of tribal people practice shifting cultivation.
- TRIFED – objective of TRIFED is socio-economic development of tribal people in the country by way of marketing development of the tribal products on which the lives of tribals depends heavily as they spend most of their time and derive major portion of their income.
9. The Tribal Sub-plan Approach includes:
(a) Integrated Tribal Development Projects comprising generally administrative units like sub-divisions / Districts / Tehsils with 50 per cent or more Scheduled Tribe population.
(b) Pockets of tribal concentration having a total population of 10,000 or more and a ST population of 50 per cent or more.
(c) Primitive Tribal Group Projects.
The major objectives of the tribal development have remained as follows:
(i) To take up family oriented programmes in order to raise productivity levels of the beneficiary families in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, small scale industries etc.
(ii) To liberate tribals from the exploitation of land grabbing, money-lending, debt- bondage, forest-labour etc.
(iii) To improve the quality of life through education and training programmes and
(iv) To provide infrastructural Facilities in tribal areas.
The Tribal Sub-plan is financed through the resources drawn from:
(i) State plans
(ii) Special Central assistance of Ministry of Home Affairs (now Ministry of Welfare).
(iii) Central and Centrally sponsored programmes, and
(iv) Institutional finance
Ageing can be sociologically defined as the combination of biological, psychological and social processes that affect people, as they grow older. Gerontology is studying the aging and the elderly in the population.
- Age division of Indian population (0-14) is 30.8%, (15-59) is 60.3%, (60+) is 8.6%.
- According to Population Census 2011, there are nearly 104 million elderly persons in India.
- It has increased from 5.5% in 1951 to 8.6% in 2011.
- Projected a rise upto 19% in 2050.
- As regards rural and urban areas, more than 73 million persons i.e. 71% of elderly population resides in rural areas while 31 million or 29% of elderly population are in urban area.
FEMINIZATION OF AGING
- Among the challenges which India faces, UNPF report says the feminisation of ageing remained a key one.
- The sex ratio of the elderly has increased from 938 women to 1,000 men in 1971 to 1,033 in 2011 and is projected to increase to 1,060 by 2026.
- The report also noted that between 2000 and 2050, the population of 80-plus people would have grown 700% “with a predominance of widowed and highly dependent very old women” and so the special needs of such old women would need significant focus of policy and programmes.
- Indian society is undergoing rapid transformation under the impact of industrialization, urbanization, technical & technological change, education and globalization.
- Consequently, the traditional values and institutions are in the process of erosion and adaptation, resulting in the weakening of intergenerational ties that were the hallmark of the traditional family.
- Industrialization has replaced the simple family production units by the mass production and the factory.
- Negligence by kids towards their old parents.
- Disillusionment due to retirement.
- Feeling of powerlessness, loneliness, uselessness and isolation in elderly.
- Generational gap.
- Retirement and dependence of elderly on their child for basic necessity.
- Sudden increase in out of pocket expenses on treatment.
- Migration of young working-age persons from rural area have negative impacts on the elderly, living alone or with only the spouse usually poverty and distress.
- Insufficient housing facility.
- Multiple disabilities among the elders in old age.
- Health issues like blindness, locomotor disabilities and deafness are most prevalent.
- Mental illness arising from senility and neurosis.
- Absence of geriatric care facilities at hospitals in rural area.
- Integrated Programme for Older Persons (IPOP)
- Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY)
- Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS)
- Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY)
- The Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana
- Vayoshreshtha Samman
- Article 41and Article 46 are the constitutional provisions for elderly persons. Although directive principles are not enforceable under the law, but it creates a positive obligation towards the state while making any law.
- Section 20of Hindu marriage and adoption act, 1956 makes it obligatory provisions to maintain an aged parents.
- Under Section 125 of Criminal Procedure Code, the elder parents can claim maintenance from their children.
- The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, seeks to make it legal for the children or heirs to maintain their parents or senior citizens of the family.
- In 1982, the Report of the World Assembly on Ageing (also known as “the International Plan on Ageing”) was published, which represented the first international debate on the rights of older persons and presented a plan for their implementation.
- The UNPF were tasked with implementing the Plan of the Second World Assembly which adopted “Madrid International Plan ”on ageing in 2002.
DIFFERENTLY ABLED PERSONS
- An impairment is a problem in body function or structure;
- An activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action;
- A participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations.
- As per Census 2011, in India, out of the total population of 121 crore, about 2.68 Cr persons are ‘Disabled’ (2.21% of the total population)
ISSUES AND CHALLENGES
- Disability is not being measured properly due to different definitions of disability in various censuses
- India looks at disability from medical or pathological angle only, not from social angle
- Census depends on self-reporting of disability which may leave out mental & even physical disability
- Lack of Institutional and Infrastructural Support for the disabled in India
- Social and physical barriers – led to inaccessibility of social security mechanisms
- Lack of comprehensive coverage of problems.
- Lack of information dissemination and lack of single window approach to address the problems.
- Article 41 of the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) states that State shall make effective provision for securing right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, within the limits of its economic capacity and development.
- The subject of ‘relief of the disabled and unemployable ’is specified in state list of the Seventh Schedule of the constitution.
Right of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016
- The Act replaces the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
- “Person with disability” means a person with long term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which, in interaction with barriers, hinders his full and effective participation in society equally with others.
- “Person with benchmark disability” means a person with not less than 40% of a specified disability where specified disability has not been defined in measurable terms and includes a person with a disability where specified disability has been defined in measurable terms, as certified by the certifying authority.
- Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.
- Principles stated to be implemented for empowerment of persons with disabilities (PWD) are respect for the inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons.
- The principle reflects a paradigm shift in thinking about disability from a social welfare concern to a human rights issue.
- The types of disabilities have been increased from 7 to 21. The act added mental illness, autism, spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, chronic neurological conditions, speech and language disability, thalassemia, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, multiple disabilities including deaf blindness, acid attack victims and Parkinson’s disease which were largely ignored in earlier act.
GOVERNMENT SCHEMES/ INITIATIVES
- Accessible India Campaign : Creation of Accessible Environment for PwDs
- DeenDayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme
- Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase / fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP)
- National Fellowship for Students with Disabilities (RGMF)
PREVIOUS YEAR QUESTIONS
- Male membership needs to be encouraged in order to make women‟s organization free from gender bias. Comment(2013)
- How does patriarchy impact the position of a middle class working woman in India?(2014)
- Why do some of the most prosperous regions of India have an adverse sex ratio for women? Give your arguments(2014)
- How do you explain the statistics that show that the sex ratio in Tribes in India is more favourable to women than the sex ratio among Scheduled Castes?(2015)
- Debate the issue whether and how contemporary movements for assertion of Dalit identity work towards annihilation of caste.(2015)
- Why are the tribals in India referred to as “the Scheduled Tribes‟? Indicate the major provisions enshrined in the Constitution of India for their upliftment.(2016)
- What are the two major legal initiatives by the State since Independence addressing discrimination against Scheduled Tribes(STs)?(2017)
- The women‟s questions arose in modern India as a part of the 19th century social reform movement. What are the major issues and debates concerning women in that period?(2017)
- Women’s movement in India has not addressed the issues of women of lower social strata.‟ Substantiate your view.(2018)
- “Empowering women is the key to control population growth”. Discuss.(2019)
- What are the continued challenges for women in India against time and space?(2019)