New era of women empowerment in Chhattisgarh: Special article by Reenu Thakur, Assistant Public Relations Officer

Whether Cleanliness Didi or Kalpana Chawla women who go into space, have proved themselves in every field from floor to hail. Women today are waving the glory of their success in every field.

Raipur 07 March 2021: The problems of gender inequality that have arisen over time are now slowly breaking down, but in many areas women still need to be empowered. In the true sense, women empowerment will take place on a day when women are able and capable to make decisions related to themselves without any pressure. For this, with the empowerment of women in Chhattisgarh, their self-reliance strategy is being adopted.

 A new phase of women empowerment has started with the winds of change in Chhattisgarh. As Anganwadi workers, assistants, supervisors, Suchitan Mitras, Mitannins, teachers, BC Sakhi or self-help group workers, women are playing an important role in strengthening the foundation of the state. Their involvement has been further strengthened with a 50 per cent stake in panchayats. State government operating fair price shops, supplementary nutritious food for Anganwadi centers, ready-to-eat food and mid-day meal preparation in schools to the women of the village by providing financial support to the families in the village have been found. Women of women groups are also doing the work of preparing breakfast and hot cooked food for children in Anganwadi centers here. Women groups, destitute widowed women are also being made self-reliant by giving loans at 3 percent interest for running small industries and operations through the Mahila Kosh loan scheme operated through the Women and Child Development Department. Through the Mahila Kosh, loans have been provided to 291 women groups in the year 2020-21.

 In a further step towards women independence, the operation of the Gadkaleva centers in the district headquarters of Chhattisgarh has been given to women self-help groups. The state government has also provided necessary facilities, training and financial assistance for this. Which has started getting better response. Chhattisgarhi cuisine is being sold by Divyang women at Flor Kalewa in Basna Janpad Panchayat campus of Mahasamund district. Jungle market is being operated along with Gadhakaleva by women in Vananchal area Jashpur. The sale of forest medicine along with artifacts made by local craftsmen has also been started here. The first livelihood organ (Multi Activity Center) of the state has been started at village Ganiyari of Takhatpur block in Bilaspur district. About 650 women are involved in internal and external activities. Under Suraji village scheme also, various products of cow dung, milk production and other economic activities have been linked through groups to connect rural women with employment. Under Narva, Garwa, Ghurwa, Bari Yojana and Godhan Nyaya Yojana, women are also preparing cow dung pot, organic manure, pesticides and Ayurvedic medicines in Gothan. From beekeeping to mushroom production, women groups have made a good catch in many areas. In tribal areas, women are earning well by following the Kadaknath rooster. By becoming self-sufficient, women are not only being able to give a better standard of living to their family. Rather, she is making her own place in the family and society.

 In many cities of Chhattisgarh, cleanliness work in cities has been well maintained under the Clean City Project. Ambikapur Dantewada district has become an example of this. Bank officials are providing banking facilities from village to village through online kiosk laptops and pay-point mobile devices. Under the National Livelihood Mission 'Bihaan', 20 lakh women from families with weak economic status have been linked to many employment-oriented activities through self-help groups. These women are now getting their iron in areas considered as menial work like cement pole, centering wire construction. The women groups are being made self-sufficient by linking with the Vandhan Vikas Kendras and Small Forest Produce Processing. The sweetness of Kanker's Sitaphal is now reaching far and wide through the women groups connected with Sitaphal collection and Sitaphal pulp food processing unit. The women of the group are producing lacquer by producing mulberry cosa in Dantewada and silk making and linking with MNREGA in Kanker.

 Along with self-reliance, the state government is also serious towards the health of women. In case of high percentage of anemia in women of 15 to 49 years, warm food is being provided to women in the state by conducting Mukhyamantri Suktishan Yojana to make them anemia free. About 20 thousand women have been anemia free from this. Dai-didi clinics for women have been started in municipal areas. Changes in women have started appearing not only in the economic spheres but also their thinking. In the tribal area of ​​Dantewada, by connecting with 'Mehras-Cho-Man', women are also creating awareness in every village with the construction of sanitary pads. The day is not far when women will take the series of names like Teejan Bai, Phulbasan Yadav and Nita Doomre very far from this awareness.