Covid-19 affected the life of the entire state, but if one thing was not affected, it was Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s sensitive mindset towards women. His strong will to empower women.
If one recalls the last 13 years of the tenure of Shivraj Singh Chouhan as the Chief Minister, one will find that no other Chief Minister has taken as many worthwhile and effective steps for women empowerment five decades before his tenure. Shivraj took charge of the state for the first time in November 2005. This time also even when he became the Chief Minister, the lockdown caused a fresh employment crisis in front of women working in the cities and towns to support their families. Women lost their jobs of sweeping-cleaning and cooking in houses. Under these circumstances, the “Jeevan Shakti Yojana” declared by Shivraj really became a life force for women of weaker sections.
There is hardly anyone who can question his thinking about women’s empowerment. Keeping the Corona protocol in mind, his thinking of giving needy women a chance to earn money from home is truly praiseworthy. No matter when and how the Corona virus ends, but one thing is certain that the face mask is now going to be an integral part of our lifestyle for a long time.
The population of Madhya Pradesh is around 7.50 crores today and apparently, a large number of this population is from the poor sections. Masks are now essential for life protection. With the launching of “Jeevan Shakti Yojana, the Shivraj government has killed two birds with one stone. He has provided financial assistance to women from weaker sections and cheap masks for weaker sections also. Jeevan Shakti Yojana has been implemented with the aim of providing employment opportunities to women from urban areas of the state. In order to join this scheme, urban women need to register online on the portal of the scheme. The local administration will give online orders to women registered on the portal for making masks. Online payment will be made to the bank accounts of the women the same day they the masks are ready and are delivered to the local administration. So far, about ten thousand women have not only registered online but 20 lakh masks will also be ready very soon. Out of about 10 thousand women, each has been tasked to make 200 masks.
Under this scheme, women who make masks and deposit them at the fixed place as per government system, will be paid Rs 11 for each mask. That is, a woman has the chance to earn at least Rs 2200 from home. Connecting women to the task of making masks at home, is equivalent to providing them employment at home. This mask will be available to the people of the state at cheap prices. The Chief Minister says that ‘making masks will not only benefit women but they will participate in a virtuous activity’. In this scheme, women from urban areas will get a chance first.
Women accepted this scheme of the government instantly. To prevent Corona infection, a large number of women self-help groups have prepared masks. These masks have been made available in health departments, medical stores and gram panchayats. Some women are also preparing PPE kits (Personal Protective Equipment).
Soon after the launch of Jeevan Shakti Yojana in the state, Smt. Garima Mahawat of Ujjain, decided to join the scheme. She has added a large number of urban women by forming women’s self-help groups. Through this scheme, Garima is determined to make masks on a large scale for the warriors deployed in the war against Corona. Smt. Garima Mahawat has described the Jeevan Shakti Yojana as a scheme to make the women of the state self-reliant. Garima believes that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has honoured urban women power through this scheme and has taken the initiative to make them self-reliant.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s commitment towards women empowerment came to the fore since his taking charge as the Chief Minister. Shivraj launched a long series of schemes to protect women, pursue them to move forward and honour them. This is the reason why women too have contributed largely to his political successes. It is only through these schemes that Shivraj succeeded in establishing a personal relationship with women like being a brother and a mama for children. In his last term, Shivraj had transformed his plans for women into a movement for their empowerment. By starting a scheme like Ladli Laxmi, 35 lakh 35 thousand 28 Ladli Laxmi were created in the state, who may have now now under the age critieria of being beneficiaries of this scheme. Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojana made it expensive affairs like marriages easy for the poor sections of society. In this, the government took up the responsibility of managing wedding expenses and arranging dowry. From Janani Suraksha Yojana to Gaon ki Beti Yojana and reservation in local bodies and government jobs, many notable works of women empowerment have been credited to Shivraj’s account. He started a movement like Beti Bachao, involving the participation of society in women empowerment. Shivraj believes that it is not just that the family tree runs after the son’s name, even daughters can make you proud.