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Women Welfare / Development

New budget expected to be women-centric

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The Times of India                           08.03.2013 

New budget expected to be women-centric

COIMBATORE: City residents, especially the womenfolk, will have something to cheer about in the coming corporation budget. The civic body has formulated elaborate plans for ensuring the development of women and enhancing their safety. Sources indicated that though the budget will focus on city development both in terms of better basic amenities and infrastructure, equal weight will be allocated for the betterment of women in the upcoming budget.

This could be the first time the civic body is planning to specifically focus on women and girl students in a major way, although budgetary allocations have been made in the past for the benefit of students and youth. The only girl specific announcement in the previous budget was the allocation of Rs 15 lakh for installing additional sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators for girl students in six high schools and 14 corporation middle schools.

The proposed corporation budget is expected to have allocations for extending special training in self defence techniques especially for girl children studying in corporation schools. A separate budgetary allocation could be expected for this purpose in the financial document for 2013-14 which will be officially presented after the second week of March. Apart from education, the health sector could also have some allocations made with special focus on women and child welfare. Sources in the corporation indicated that other development and welfare schemes specifically for women will be included in the corporation budget.

Improving the streetlight and road facilities in newly added areas could also have an indirect bearing on the safe movement of residents including women in corporation limits.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 March 2013 06:16

Tamil Nadu ranks second in employing women under job scheme

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The Times of India                     28.02.2013

Tamil Nadu ranks second in employing women under job scheme

CHENNAI: Rural Tamil Nadu may finally be catching up with its urban counterpart on women's liberation. Data put out by the central government in the Economic Survey shows that the state ranks second in employing maximum number of women under the rural job scheme — MNREGS.

In 2011-12, more than 73.3% of women in rural Tamil Nadu were employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS), second only to Kerala where 92.7% women were employed.

Experts, however, said the numbers are rising due to growing unemployment in rural areas. "There are not many men left in villages anymore," said Sheelu, president of a women's collective. "Most of them have migrated to cities in order to try their luck at higher paying jobs at construction sites and other forms of unskilled labour. So, in the villages, it is mostly women and elderly who sign up for MNREGS work," she said.

Arupathy Kalyanam, general secretary of Federation of Farmers in Cauvery Delta districts, said, "When men take to drinking and idling all through the day, women have no choice but to sign up for this job. Having said that, it is also true that the main reason men don't take up any rural job because they get paid a minimum of Rs 300 if they take up other jobs, whereas under MNREGS, they get paid only Rs 132."

On the other hand, MNREGS is the only job opportunity where men and women get paid equally. While the pay given may be lower for men than private jobs, women get paid more in MNREGS than in other jobs. "That's a primary reason for more women signing up for this scheme. Moreover, the work is light; they can leave for work at 10am and return home by 2pm," said Sheelu.

But Sheelu said MNREGS work in Tamil Nadu, though employing more people, is not as productive as other states, particularly Kerala. "In Kerala, they have significantly increased their agriculture productivity through this scheme," she said. "Kerala pays them remuneration for working in their own or others' fields as well as creating water harvesting tanks in government land. In Tamil Nadu, it's mostly confined to digging work."

In Tamil Nadu, MNREGS has resulted in shortage of labour in farm lands during harvest season. "Labourers demand higher pay from farmers than what they get under the MNREGS scheme," said Kalyanam.
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 February 2013 11:43

A platform for SHGs to market their products

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The Hindu                      26.02.2013

A platform for SHGs to market their products

Under one roof:Visitors taking a look at the products displayed by Self-Help Groups at an exhibition in Erode on Monday.— PHOTO: M.GOVARTHAN
Under one roof:Visitors taking a look at the products displayed by Self-Help Groups at an exhibition in Erode on Monday.— PHOTO: M.GOVARTHA.

A 11-day exhibition-cum-sale of items made by Self-Help Groups from eight districts in the State began on the VOC Park grounds here on Monday.

More than 100 SHGs from Erode, Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Tirupur, Salem and Namakkal districts are participating in the exhibition. The groups have displayed an array of products including toys, processed food items, handicrafts, sweets, jewellery, bangles, paper bags, hand-stitched clothes, herbal remedies, food products, cosmetics, clothes and bed spreads in 105 stalls.

Inaugurating the exhibition, District Collector V.K. Shanmugam said the Tamil Nadu Corporation for the Development of Women had organised the exhibition to facilitate SHGs to market their products and generate marketing leads.

He appealed to people in the district to extend their support to SHG members as a majority of them were coming from the below poverty line families.

Mr. Shanmugam also called upon the SHG members to put in more efforts to market their products at the exhibition. The members should utilise the opportunities provided by the State government to popularise their products among people, which would help them enhance their sales.

District Rural Development Agency Project Director S. Vidhyasagar, Mahalir Thittam Project Officer P. Renuga Devi, Assistant General Manager of National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development G. Santhanam and senior officials were present during the inauguration.

Entry to the exhibition that will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day till March 7 is free.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 07:20
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