"Nai Roshni" - The scheme of Leadership Development of Minority Women Scheme.
The status of women in the country, particularly those from the disadvantaged sections of the society, is unfavourable. A girl child suffers from discrimination even before birth and also afterbirth in the allocation of household resources such as food, education, access to health care and at puberty, sometimes coerced into early marriage. Most women in the rural areas suffer from double burden of carrying out less quantifiable work like cooking, fetching water, sending children to school along with agriculture labour, feeding cattle, milking cows etc., while the men folk perform defined activities like selling milk and grains produced by the household. Women in the minority communities fare badly too. They are not just a minority, but the 'marginalized majority' and are sidelined in decision making in the family, and usually cut off from full involvement in the workings of the community and form an equal share in the rewards from social institutions.
Empowerment of women per se is not only essential for equity, but also constitutes a critical element in our fight for poverty reduction, economic growth and strengthening of civil society. Women and children are always the worst sufferers in a poverty stricken family and need support. Empowering women, especially mothers, is even more important as it is in homes that she nourishes, nurture and moulds the character of her offspring. A report of the High Level Committee on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community of India (popularly known as the Sachar Report) had highlighted the fact that India’s largest minority group, the Muslim numbering 13.83 Crore, have been left out of the development trajectory and within this group Muslim women are doubly disadvantaged.
Target Group and Distribution of Targets
Target Group includes women belonging to all minorities notified under Section 2 (c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992 viz. Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis). However, to further strengthen the mosaic of plurality in the society and bring about solidarity and unity through their own efforts to improve their lot, the scheme permits a mix of women from non-minority communities not exceeding 25% of a project proposal. Efforts should be made by the Organization for having a representative mix of women from SCs/STs/OBCs, women with disabilities and other communities under within this 25% group.
Efforts will be made to persuade Elected Women Representatives (EWRs), from any community, under the Panchayati Raj institutions to be included as a trainee.
The objective of the scheme is to empower and instill confidence among minority women, including their neighbours from other communities living in the same village/locality, by providing knowledge, tools and techniques for interacting with Government systems, banks and other institutions at all levels.
Empowerment of women from the minority communities and emboldening them to move out of the confines of their home and community and assume leadership roles and assert their rights, collectively or individually, in accessing services, facilities, skills, and opportunities besides claiming their due share of development benefits of the Government for improving their lives and living conditions.
Non Residential Training-1
A six day non-residential training programme from 19 September’ 2013 to 24 September’2013 was conducted in Bhopal under the “Nai Roshni”- Scheme of Leadership Development of Minority Women, a project supported by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Govt. of India. 25 Women Participants from the minority community were provided training over a period of 6 days in which issues related to Health and Hygiene, Family Planning, Immunization & HIV/AIDS were covered. The objective of the training programme is to empower and instill confidence among minority women by providing knowledge, tools and techniques for interacting with Government systems, banks and other institutional areas. The purpose is to empower women from the minority communities and emboldening them to move out of the confines of their homes and community and assume leadership roles and assert their rights, collectively or individually.
Non Residential Training-2
“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try”. Keeping this in mind and eagerness to learn, to empower oneself and others, made women from minority community to come together and participate in the non-residential training programme- held from 21 October’2013 to 26 October’2013 in Bhopal under the “Nai Roshni”- Scheme of Leadership Development of Minority Women. In this training session, 25 women participants from minority community were provided training on issues related to Family Planning, Immunization & HIV/AIDS Health and Hygiene. All the women actively participated in the 6 day training programme and were keen to share the insights with other community women.