Govt. taking effective steps to address challenges of Scheduled Caste women, children: Tirath

New Delhi, Jan 19 (ANI): Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath has asked the stakeholders to take all preventive, precautionary and rehabilitative measures in all cases of crimes against women and children from the Scheduled Caste (SCs).

In her address at the conference on Issues and Challenges for Development of Scheduled Caste Women and Children here, Tirath said: "The Government is committed to ensure that full benefits of government schemes and programmes flow to the women and children of SCs, who generally are among the most vulnerable sections of the society."Despite various initiatives of the Government for holistic development of the SCs they continue to face challenges due to lack of educational and employment opportunities, ownership of resources and social ostracism. The Government is serious in taking effective steps that are required to address these challenges," she added.

Lamenting that Scheduled Caste women continue to be the most marginalized in terms of educational and employment opportunities, Tirath said: "The existence of manual scavenging as a legitimate occupation for many is evidence that the task remains unfinished and effective steps are required to address these challenges."

During the two-day conference, the working groups deliberated on Social, Economic and Political Empowerment of Scheduled Caste Women and Children and their protection from atrocities.

The Conference focused upon social empowerment of Scheduled Caste women and children by improving their access to health and nutrition, education, housing and living conditions; and economic empowerment by enhancing opportunities for development and livelihoods in agriculture and non-agricultural sectors.

Issues relating to manual scavenging and security and protection from atrocities were the other areas of focus. o ensure economic empowerment of Scheduled Caste women, the conference emphasized upon the need for enabling ownership of land and landed assets by Scheduled Caste women, organizing them into Self Help Groups (SHGs) and upgrading their skills.

Increasing the number of days of assured employment under MGNREGA was also suggested. In the non-agricultural sector, the need for capacity building of Scheduled Caste women to enable them to move from low and medium skilled jobs to high-skilled employment was highlighted.

On the issue of manual scavenging, the recommendations focused on the need for complete abolition of this practice, proper assessment of the numbers of those who are engaged in this occupation and intensive efforts towards their rehabilitation. (ANI)

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