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Mission Shakti

Overview of Mission Shakti Yojana
Women and children accounted for 67.7% of India’s population as per the 2011 census. For sustainable and equitable development of the country, it is crucial to empower, protect and ensure wholesome development of women and children. Through its numerous missions, the Ministry of Women and Child Development works hard to achieve this objective by promoting social & economic empowerment of women and ensuring care, development and protection of children.

On March 08, 2021, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) decided to classify all key schemes under three umbrella categories—Mission Poshan 2.0, Mission Vatsalya and Mission Shakti—to effectively implement various schemes and programmes.

As per the Ministry, Mission Shakti comprises schemes and policies that will help empower and protect women. In addition, under the Union Budget FY21-22, the government allocated Rs. 3,109 crore (US$ 415 million) for this mission.
 

Budget allocation for Mission Shakti schemes (FY21-22)

crore (Rs.)

million (US$)

SAMBAL (One Stop Centre, Mahila Police Volunteer, Women Helpline/Swadhar/Ujjawala/Widow Homes, etc.)

587

78

SAMARTHYA (Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Creche, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana/Gender Budgeting/Research)

2,522

337

Mission Shakti Schemes

Schemes implemented under the Nirbhaya fund:
The Indian government established the Nirbhaya fund to implement numerous schemes and projects to enhance safety and security of women. Under this framework, the Ministry of WCD implemented schemes such as One Stop Centre for women affected by violence, Women Helpline and Mahila Police Volunteers. These schemes are described as follows:

  • One Stop Centre (OSC): OSCs are established across the country to provide integrated support and assistance to women affected by violence in private and public spaces. OSCs are integrated with women helplines to provide services such as emergency response and rescue services, medical assistance, assistance to women in lodging FIRs, psychosocial support & counselling and legal aid and shelter video conferencing facility. The Ministry of Women and Child Development approved 733 OSCs, of which 682 OSCs were operational as of May 2020. As of April 2021, 341,017 cases have been addressed by one stop centres.
  • Women Helpline (WHL): The WHL aims to provide immediate, 24-hour emergency and non-emergency referral services (to concerned authorities such as police/hospitals/ambulance services/District Legal Service Authority (DLSA)/and protection officers (PO)/OSCs) to women affected by violence. Under this scheme, the government provided a 24-hour toll-free short code ‘181’ for women seeking support and information about government schemes and programmes. Further, this ‘Women Helpline’ number is operational in 32 states/union territories and has provided assistance to >51 lakh women (5,177,303 calls were registered as of March 2020).
  • Mahila Police Volunteers (MPV): MPVs serve as a public-police interface to fight crime against women and report incidences such as domestic violence, child marriage, dowry harassment and violence faced by women in public spaces. MPVs have been approved in 13 states. As of March 2020, five states comprised ~9,531 MPVs.

Swadhar Greh:
This scheme was introduced to aid rehabilitation of women, who have been victims of unfortunate circumstances, and help them lead their life with dignity. It aimed to provide shelter, food, clothing, medical assistance and economic & social security to women in distress including widows, destitute women and elderly women. As of March 2020, 73,745 women have benefitted from this scheme in the last five years.

Ujjawala:
The government launched a comprehensive scheme to prevent trafficking of women and children. The objectives of this scheme is to prevent, rescue, rehabilitate, reintegrate and repatriate victims of trafficking. To achieve this objective, the government planned to involve local communities, create public awareness through varied programmes and generate public discourse through workshops/seminars. As of March 2020, 28,409 victims have benefitted from this scheme in the last five years.

Working Women Hostel:
This scheme was introduced to provide safe and affordable accommodation, along with day care facilities, to working women. Through this scheme, the government aimed to facilitate services in urban, semi-urban and even rural areas that provide employment opportunities to women. The scheme will also assist projects such as construction of new hostels, expansion of existing hostels and operations of hostels on rented premises. As of March 2020, there were 73,387 working women in hostels and 10,788 children in day care centres.

Mahila Shakti Kendra:
The government introduced the Mahila Shakti Kendra (MSK) scheme to empower rural women through community engagement. Through this scheme, the government aimed to create an environment to help rural women realise their full potential by introducing support schemes/programmes and facilitate health, nutrition, skill development, employment and digital literacy. The scheme was introduced in 2017 and implemented across 115 most backward/aspirational districts, wherein student volunteers played an instrumental role in generating awareness about government schemes and social issues. To achieve this, the government created a framework across national, state, district and block levels.

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY):
Launched in 2017, the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana is a maternity benefit programme, which provides a cash incentive of Rs. 5,000 (US$ 66) to pregnant women and lactating mothers (excluding those who are employed with the central/state governments/or are in receipt of similar benefits under any law in force). This incentive is provided for the first living child of the family fulfilling specific maternal and child health conditions. In addition, the compensation will be given in three instalments of Rs. 1,000 (US$ 13), Rs. 2,000 (US$ 26) and Rs. 2,000 (US$ 26). As of March 2020, 1.75 crore women availed the PMMVY scheme. Between FY18-21, a total sum of Rs. 5,931 crore (US$ 785 million) was paid to the beneficiaries.

National Creche Scheme (earlier named as Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme):
Through this scheme, the government aimed to provide day care facilities for children (aged from 6 months to 6 years) of working mothers. The scheme provides a package of integrated services such as day care facilities, including sleeping facilities; early stimulation for children (aged <3 years) and pre-school education for children (aged 3-6 years); supplementary nutrition (from local sources); monitoring growth and conducting health check-ups and immunisation. As of March 2020, 6,453 creches were functional in India.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme:
The BBBP scheme completed six years of its launch in January 2021. Through this scheme, the government aimed to address the decline in Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and other issues related to women empowerment. In addition, the scheme was focused on generating awareness about the rights of a girl child through community engagement, stopping sex selection at birth and encouraging positive action to support their education growth and development. According to the Health Management Information System (HMIS), the Sex Ratio at Birth (is a monitoring parameter to record the progress of this scheme) improved by 16 points from 918 (2014-15) to 934 (2019-20). Of the 640 districts covered under the BBBP, 422 districts posted improvement in SRB from 2014-15 to 2018-2019.

Mission Shakti Program in Uttar Pradesh (UP)  

Overview
In October 2020, the UP government launched the ‘Mission Shakti’ programme to create awareness about women empowerment in the state. The six-month long campaign, which will last from Shardiya Navratri to Chaitra Navaratri in April 2021, is aimed to provide safety and security to women in the state.

After facing flak over a string of rape incidents in UP, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath stated during launch that ‘Mission Shakti’ will focus on ensuring safety and dignity of women and girls. He also gave a stern warning to perpetrators that crime against women will be dealt with an iron hand. He added that the campaign’s launch, which coincided with commencement of the ‘Navratri’ festival that is dedicated to Goddess Durga, is a tribute to the woman who died after allegedly being raped by two men in Balrampur, and further asserted that his government has zero tolerance towards crime against women and girls.

2021 Key Initiatives under Mission Shakti in UP

  • Briefed women about schemes on self-reliance in Lucknow: In March 2021, in an effort to help women become 'Atmanirbhar', the state government, in collaboration with the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), under the Mission Shakti campaign, organised several events in the state’s capital, Lucknow. These events, which were attended by hundreds of women, helped the government create awareness and share information about welfare schemes including the One District, One Product (ODOP) Margin Money Scheme, Vishwakarma Shram Samman Yojana, ODOP Toolkit Scheme, Mukhyamantri Yuva Swarojgar Yojana, a training scheme for SCs/STs and OBCs and Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) scheme.
  • Provided self-defense training programmes: In March 2021, under the Mission Shakti campaign, female students in >40,000 upper primary schools in the state were trained in the art of self-defense. The initiative was aimed to help young girls become self-dependent by becoming physically and mentally strong. According to the Director General of School Education, these classes will help rural students boost their self-confidence and self-esteem. To successfully implement this initiative, the Department of School Education granted Rs. 3,000 (US$ 40) to all schools and tasked ~10,748 physical education instructors to train these school girls.
  • Fast-tracked trials and prosecution of the accused: In March 2021, the state government directed all district Police Chiefs to not only curb crime against girls and women, but also fast-track trials and prosecution of the accused in court cases; this boosted prosecution rate in the state. Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Awasthi stated that between October 17, 2020 and March 24, 2021, 12 accused were awarded death penalty, 456 were sentenced to life imprisonment, ~414 accused were sentenced for >10 years and 1,178 were convicted for <10 years. In the same period, 9,881 under trial bails were cancelled and 1,580 criminals were expelled from different districts across the state. In addition, the police rigorously pursued cases of rape and murder of minor girls and succeeded in awarding death penalty to the 12 accused in Banda, Rae Bareli, Hathras, Hapur, Ghaziabad, Hardoi, Jaunpur, Bulandshahr and Sultanpur districts.
  • Held ‘Jan Sunwai’ to resolve women issues: In February 2021, the government organised Jan Sunwai, a public hearing event in the PWD guest house in Rae Bareli. The event was presided by the State Women Commission member Anju Prajapati and was aimed to redress the grievances of women victims. A similar event was also held at the district headquarters Barabanki, wherein complainants were addressed by the State Women Commission member Kumud Srivastava. In January 2021, the Women Welfare Department organised a ‘nari chaupal’ in Banki, Barabanki district, where women were sensitised about female foeticide and gender discrimination.

Second Phase of Mission Shakti to Commence from April 2021 in UP
For the second phase, the state government directed all district magistrates to prepare and submit a roadmap for the Women Welfare Department by March 31, 2021. Under the campaign, ~7.06 crore people have been made aware about women issues, including >4.27 crore women and >2.78 crore men as of February 2021.

According to senior officials, in the second phase of the ‘Mission Shakti’ programme, technological advancements are likely to be leveraged to help prevent crime against women and lower the reaction time for enforcement agencies to reach and help women in an emergency. Moreover, the state government implemented the following initiatives:

  • Sanctioned Rs. 309 crore (US$ 41 million) for Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Noida, Agra and Prayagraj to boost security installations, surveillance and set up dedicated control rooms
  • Commanded divisional commissioners in seven districts—Aligarh, Bareilly, Jhansi, Moradabad, Saharanpur, Kanpur and Meerut—to prepare a safety plan for women
  • Women policemen were provided 100 pink two-wheeler patrols and 10 four-wheeler pink patrols for monitoring schools, colleges and markets
  • Announced construction of ‘Pink’ toilets, with proper lighting for dark stretches. Under the ‘Safe City’ project in Lucknow, the government is constructing 74 pink toilets, of which 18 are ready as of March 08, 2021. In addition, 3,625 dark spots were identified, wherein electric poles have been installed in 660 spots and the remaining 2,965 spots were expected to be covered by March 2021
  • Upgraded the women power line ‘1090’ and is working to increase the capacity of women power lines. Further, integrated the women power line with UP-112 cyber forensics facility and data analytics centres
  • Announced monitoring of hotspots through CCTV cameras, drones and control rooms to install panic buttons, CCTV cameras and GPL in city buses by December 2021


Mission Shakti Program in Orissa

Overview
In 2001, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched Mission Shakti in Odisha to empower women in the state.

In 2018, ‘Mission Shakti’ was accorded the status of a directorate under Orissa’s department of women and child development. In March 2021, Odisha’s cabinet approved the state government’s decision to create a separate department of ‘Mission Shakti’ and bring The Mission Shakti Directorate, OLM (Odisha Livelihoods Mission) and the State Urban Development Agency together, as they work primarily for women SHGs and avoid dual federating units. Mission Shakti has the clear objective of empowering women through gainful activities by providing credit and market linkage. Promotion of Women's Self-Help Groups (WSHGs) has therefore been adopted as a key strategy for achieving women's empowerment. As of March 2021, ~70 lakh women have been organised into 6 lakh groups in all blocks and urban local bodies of the state.

Vision and Mission of Mission Shakti
Mission Statement:
“Help construct a society that is self-reliant, conscious of socioeconomic issues, where there is a spirit of cooperation, where women are appropriately skilled to undertake their choice of activities without hindrances or dependence, where there is leadership development, while maintaining gender equity and above all, each respecting values of others and striving for the good of the greater society.”

Vision: Mission Shakti aims to make Odisha a land of equal opportunities where women are empowered to live with dignity and enjoy economic prosperity.

Key Initiatives under Mission Shakti

  • Issued order to hand over unused government properties to Mission Shakti: In April 2021, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asked district collectors to hand over unused government property and assets of districts, blocks and Panchayats to women self-help groups (WSHGs), under Mission Shakti, within two months to conduct socioeconomic development activities in their localities.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development collaborated with Mission Shakti: In March 2021, the Housing and Urban Development department partnered with Mission Shakti to run 167 Aahar centres (a centre that provides subsidised food items) through women self-help groups (WSHGs). As part of its WSHG empowerment programme via community-driven urban initiatives, the department also inked a pact with Mission Shakti groups and Central Food Technology and Research Institute (CFTRI) to help WSHGs manufacture pickles.
  • Partnership with YES BANK: In March 2021, Spice Money, a rural fintech, joined forces with YES BANK to empower rural women entrepreneurs by turning them into business correspondent agents (BCA) on the Spice Money network. The Government of Odisha appointed YES BANK as the partner bank under Mission Shakti. In this initiative, any woman—aged 18-45 years, with a 10th standard certificate and basic understanding of a computer/smartphone—can avail the opportunity to become a BCA.
  • Plans to increase loans to Rs. 5 lakh for women self-help groups (WSHGs): Through the Mission Shakti programme, the state government has been providing interest-free loans of up to Rs. 3 lakh (US$ 4,009) each to WSHGs and is considering a proposal to hike the amount to Rs. 5 lakh. As of March 2021, the government offered loan assistance worth Rs. 4,000 crore (US$ 534.55 million) to women-led producer groups, benefitting >2.17 lakh women.
  • Online services for Women and Child Development and Mission Shakti department: In February 2021, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched five online services that aimed to empower women and provide better childcare facilities. The online services included the ‘Mo Chhatua’ app to streamline the supply chain management of ‘Take Home Ration’ (Chhatua); ‘e-Kalika’ app to monitor children <3 years; ‘Mo Sishu’ portal—a comprehensive web-based information, management and monitoring system for child protection services; ‘MAMATA’ app and Management information system (MIS) to transfer cash benefits to pregnant women; and the e-manadeya portal for paperless transfer of honorarium to 134,758 Anganwadi (a type of rural child care centre) workers.

Conclusion
For any society to flourish and achieve prosperity, safety, security and dignity of women are of paramount importance; therefore, it is crucial to create an inclusive society where women and girls have equal access to resources and opportunities, enabling them to participate and contribute in social, economic and political development of that society as a whole.

Through Mission Shakti, the Indian government has taken the right step towards empowering women & girls and addressing issues related to their rights, legal provisions and limited awareness about government schemes and policies. Moreover, policymakers are now giving priority and focusing on resolving issues such as reducing excess mortality of girls and women, eliminating gender disadvantages in education, helping them access economic opportunities and thus, earnings and productivity, giving them an equal voice in households & societies and limiting transmission of gender inequality across generations.