Stating women's health and empowerment have become an integral part of the central government's programmes and policies, Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani announced 300 more One Stop Centres (OSCs) across the country. The move intends to support women affected by violence.
Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday said 300 more One Stop Centres (OSCs), intended to support women affected by violence, will be opened soon across the country. She said women's health and empowerment have become an integral part of the central government's programmes and policies.
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Speaking at a zonal conference of states and different stakeholders from the western region in Mumbai, the minister said, at present, 704 One Stop Centres are functioning in the country and in collaboration with the women's helpline, 70 lakh women in distress have received support from both central and state governments.
OSCs, opened under a scheme launched by the Women and Child Development Ministry, are intended to support women affected by violence in private, in public, within a family, community and at the workplace. The minister said through the Nirbhaya Fund, various projects worth Rs 9,000 crore have been implemented between 2014-21 for the safety and security of women.
She further stressed that the Centre is committed to protecting the self-respect of women by addressing challenges faced by them with a multi-sectoral approach. The focus of the conference was on three important topics: 'Mission Poshan 2.0' relating to the nutrition of women and children, 'Mission Shakti' relating to the safety and security of women, and 'Mission Vatsalya' which is aimed at securing a happy and healthy childhood for every child.
Referring to the Union Budget for 2022-23, Irani said the allocation for women-related programmes has increased by 14 percent. The Union Budget for 2022-23 has allocated Rs 1.71 lakh crore for women in our country. We are the first government and the country which has integrated the gender component in our inter-governmental fiscal transfers, she added.
The minister said over 11 lakh toilets built under the Swachh Bharat Mission have ensured that every day for women starts with cleanliness. Irani further said separate toilets for girls have been built in more than 4 lakh government schools within a year. This has in turn ensured reduction of girl dropout rate, which was as high as 23 percent earlier.
The minister said Ayushman Bharat, a flagship scheme of the Centre, has widened the healthcare coverage across the country and it has witnessed a women's footfall of 45 crores. Initially, it was said that because of socio-cultural constraints, women would not come forward for the treatment of breast cancer or cervical cancer. But, according to her, this skeptics have been proven wrong and nearly 7 crore women have got themselves screened and those in need of medical care are undergoing treatment, she said.