Vijayawada: Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has announced plans to introduce a Gender Budget that will help in special allocation of funds for women welfare. AP will be the first state to do this, the CM said on Monday.
Taking part in an event marking International Women’s Day at his camp office, the CM said the gender budget would help initiate a series of welfare schemes and developmental works for women. He laid stress on ensuring equal rights to women in socio-economic and political fields. He referred to the existing welfare schemes like Amma Vodi, YSR Cheyutha, YSR Asara and Kapu Nestam with a total budget of Rs 80,000 crore that his government had unveiled in the past 21 months.
He said the YSRC government paid special attention to empowerment of women and cited the law to provide 50 per cent reservation to women in all nominated posts and at work.
The CM, in virtual mode, inaugurated Women Help Desks at all police stations in the state along with Cyber Kiosks. He launched the Swechha programme to create awareness among adolescent girls on menstrual hygiene, and flagged off a fleet of 900 Disha patrolling vehicles and 18 Disha crime scene management vehicles.
Reddy said the government would provide biodegradable sanitary napkins free of cost to girl students from Class 7 to 12 in all government schools from July 1. Such napkins would also be made available at low price in Cheyutha grocery stores from July 1. He said the government also enhanced casual leave for women staff from 15 to 20.
Maintaining that it is mandatory to have workplace committees to prevent harassment of women in government and private institutions, the CM advised chief secretary Adityanath Das to set up such a panel in the Secretariat, to start with.
Referring to the 2011 Census, the CM said only 60 per cent of the women were literate in the state while the remaining 40 per cent were unable to pursue education. Keeping this in mind, the state government introduced the Jagananna Amma Vodi scheme and spent Rs 13,022 crore on this in the last two years. He said the YSRC government would earmark Rs 32,500 crore in five years for the education of some 44.5 lakh mothers and 85 lakh students.
The CM said crimes against women have dropped by 7.5 per cent last year, compared with 2019. The time taken for the investigation of such cases came down to 53 days from the previous average of 100 days. This was due to the setting up of the Disha police stations in each district, he said.
The CM said charge sheets for 563 such offences were filed within seven days of the occurrence of those incidents.
Home minister Mekathoti Sucharitha, minister for women and child welfare Thaneti Vanitha, chief secretary Adityanath Das, DGP Goutam Sawang and others were present.