What are the Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes? The topic is an important aspect of social justice provision in the country. Read further to know more about it.
Vulnerability is “proneness to harm or damage originating from external causes.” Simply stated, vulnerable groups, are those parts of the population who are more likely to suffer as a result of a faulty or unjust system, whether that system is social, political, cultural, economic, physical, family-based, environmental, or any other factor.
A few of the groups in India that might be categorized as vulnerable sections are children, women, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes, minorities, senior citizens, disabled people, LGBT communities, etc.
What is the Need for Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections?
Members of a certain gender, caste, class, and ethnic identity encounter structural discrimination in India in several ways.
According to the India Exclusion Report, the majority of India’s disadvantaged groups, including women, Dalits, tribals, Muslims, workers in the informal sector, the poor, the elderly, and the disabled, among others, continue to be denied access to four essential public goods: pensions, digital access, land, labor & resources, and legal justice.
To relieve the weaker sections from the webs of oppression, marginalization, and backwardness, the government must take action.
Schemes for the Welfare of Minorities
The Constitution of India does not define the term “minorities” anywhere but only mentions it in some Articles 29 to 30 and 350A to 350B. Article 29 referring to minorities speaks of “any section of citizens having a distinct language, script, and culture”.
Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakaram
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) in particular, aims to improve the socio-economic infrastructure facilities for minority communities in the areas of education, health, and skill development.
The “Hamari Dharohar” program was launched by the Ministry of Minority Affairs to preserve the rich cultural heritage of India’s minority communities.
Its objectives include preserving the rich cultural history of minorities within the context of Indian culture as a whole, curating the exhibition, preserving literature and other records, supporting and promoting calligraphy, etc.
Schemes Related to Women
Because India has historically been a patriarchal society, women have always experienced societal disadvantages and limitations, regardless of their class, caste, or religion. Thus, it became important to implement some corrective measures to better the situation of women in the historically male-dominated society.
Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana
The scheme is implemented by the Ministry of Women & Child Development to provide partial compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentives so that the woman can take adequate rest before and after delivery of the first living child.
Swadhar Greh Scheme targets women victims of difficult circumstances. It will be set up in every district with the capacity to provide shelter, food, clothing, counseling, training, and clinical and legal aid aimed to rehabilitate women in difficult circumstances.
The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. It is a comprehensive scheme for the Prevention of Trafficking and Rescue, Rehabilitation, Reintegration, and Repatriation of Victims of Trafficking for Commercial Sexual Exploitation.
One Stop Centre Scheme
It is a centrally sponsored scheme formulated by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) as part of the National Mission for Women’s Empowerment’s umbrella program.
These centers will gradually be built around the country to offer comprehensive support and help to women who have experienced violence in both private and public spaces in a phased manner.
Schemes Related to Children
Due to their age, children are thought to be at risk of being exploited, abused, violent, and neglected.
However, children in very tough situations, such as orphans and street children, refugees or displaced children, child workers, children who are trapped in prostitution or sexual abuse, children who are disabled, and delinquent children are particularly vulnerable.
Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme
This centrally sponsored scheme is for early childhood care by providing supplementary nutrition, immunization, and preschool education to the children. The scheme falls under the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD), Government of India (GoI). Services under the scheme are delivered via Anganwadi Centers (AWCs).
Integrated Child Protection Scheme
The Integrated Child Protection Scheme is being implemented by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
The objective of the scheme is to institutionalize essential services and strengthen structures for emergency outreach, institutional care, family and community-based care, counseling, and support services at the national, regional, state, and district levels.
Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan
It was created with the overarching objective of enhancing school performance as determined by equitable learning outcomes and equal access to educational opportunities.
It incorporates the three former schemes, Teacher Education, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Schemes (TE).
Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Scheme
The National Program of Mid-Day Meals (MDM) in School scheme is the Government of India’s flagship school-based feeding program intended to improve students’ nutritional status and support the expansion of elementary education. This program aims to prevent classroom hunger, raise school enrollment, increase school attendance, and improve socialization among castes, etc.
Click here to read more.
Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme
BBBP is a Pan India Scheme, with 100% assistance from the Central Government to prevent gender-biased sex selective elimination, ensure survival & protection of the girl child, ensure education and participation of the girl child, etc.
Click here to read more.
Schemes Related to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes/ Other Backward Classes
Scheduled castes are those castes that are notified as Scheduled Castes as per provisions contained in Article 341 of the Constitution.
Article 366 (25) of the Constitution of India defines Scheduled Tribes as “such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for this constitution”.
When the Central Government refers to “backward classes it means such backward classes of citizens other than the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as may be specified by the Central Government from time to time for purposes of making provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favor of backward classes of citizens.
Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 (PCR) and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (PoA)
To facilitate the successful implementation of the PCR and PoA Acts by the respective State Governments and Union Territory Administrations, central assistance is provided to them under the Scheme for Implementation of the PCR and PoA Acts.
Stand-Up India Scheme
Stand-Up India Scheme aims to promote entrepreneurship among women and scheduled castes and tribes. It facilitates bank loans to at least one Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled Tribe (ST) borrower and at least one woman borrower per bank branch for setting up a greenfield enterprise.
Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana
This is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme and is being implemented for the integrated development of Scheduled Castes (SC) majority villages having SC Population concentration of more than 50%.
Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana
Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojna is an initiative targeting livelihood generation for tribals by harnessing the wealth of forest i.e. Van Dhan. The scheme aims to provide skill upgradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facilities.
Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs (GoI) has launched the Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana (VKY) for the welfare of Tribals that aims at creating an enabling environment for need-based and outcome-oriented holistic development of the tribal people.
Vocational Training Centres in Tribal Areas
The major objective of this program is to increase the skills of tribal youth in traditional and modern occupations according to their educational background, current economic trends, and market potential, allowing them to find suitable jobs or start their businesses.
Eklavya Model Residential School
The vision of the EMRS is the socio-economic development of the most underprivileged groups in India i.e. the Scheduled Tribes (STs), in a coordinated and planned manner considering it as an effective instrument for their holistic empowerment.
Schemes Related to Senior Citizens
A “senior citizen” is a person who is a citizen of India, and has attained the age of sixty years or above.
Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana
The government has launched the ‘Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY)’ to provide social security during old age and to protect elderly persons aged 60 and above. It is a pension scheme announced for senior citizens.
Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana
It is a Central Sector Scheme under which Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices are provided to Senior citizens belonging to the BPL category. The expenditure requirements for implementation of the scheme will be met from the “Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund”.
Integrated Programme for Older Persons Scheme
The main objective of the Integrated Programme for Older Persons Scheme is to improve the quality of life of Older Persons by providing basic amenities like shelter, food, medical care, and entertainment opportunities.
Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS)
The Central Government developed this non-contributory pension program to offer pensions to all those 60 years of age or older who fall under the BPL category.
Schemes Related to Disabled Persons
According to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons (1975): “Any person unable to ensure by himself or herself, wholly or partly the necessities of a normal individual and or social life as a result of a deficiency either congenital or not in his/her physical or mental abilities” could be described as disabled.
Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan)
The “Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan)” is formulated by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment as a nationwide flagship campaign for achieving universal accessibility that will enable persons with disabilities to gain access to equal opportunity and live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life in an inclusive society.
An online portal “Sugamaya Pustakalaya” provides print-impaired individuals with accessible content. The library has books in many different languages, subjects, and forms that are easily accessible. It was developed by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’s Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) in partnership with Daisy Forum of India member organizations and is run by TCS Access.
Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme
The scheme aims to encourage voluntary action to ensure the effective implementation of the People with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities and Protection of Rights) Act of 2016.
Unique Disability Identification (UDID) Project
It aims to provide a comprehensive end-to-end integrated system for Issuing Universal ID & Disability Certificates for Persons with Disabilities with their identification and disability data.
Schemes Related to the LGBT Community
LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) persons have historically and still experience discrimination and violence on a worldwide scale. That is why they need some government interventions.
“SWEEKRUTI” is an umbrella scheme launched by the Odisha Government with objectives like creating an enabling environment to ensure equal opportunities, equity, social justice & empowerment of transgender persons of the state.
Schemes Related to Poor Persons
Due to their inability to afford resources, including better quality of life, healthcare, education, and entertainment, poor people experience a variety of issues that make them vulnerable.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 was initiated to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year, to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM)
The National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD). In November 2015, the program was renamed Deendayal Antayodaya Yojana (DAY-NRLM). The program seeks to eradicate rural poverty by giving low-income families access to chances for gainful self-employment and skilled wage work.
Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY)
Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna or PM-JAY was launched in 2018. Ayushman Bharat JAY, which aspires to provide a health cover of Rs. 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization, is the largest health assurance program in the world.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)
The government’s PM Ujjwala Yojana aims to connect BPL households to LPG to replace the unclean cooking fuels used in rural India with cleaner and more effective LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas).
Article Written By: Priti Raj