Panel to look into sex workers' woes: Umashree

Women and Child Welfare Minister chairs review meet in Udupi

Panel to look into sex workers' woes: Umashree

Minister for Women and Child Welfare Department and Kannada and Culture Umashree said a committee would be formed to look into the problems of sex workers and to offer solutions in terms of rehabilitation and legal and financial aid to the sex workers.

Speaking after chairing the district review meet held for Women and Child Welfare Department, the minister said the society is having disrespectful image for the sex workers and they are not in a position to come forward to share their problems openly.

She said there are pro and anti voices against the legalization of prostitution. However, the legalization of flesh trade demands laborious process involving indepth inquiry into many aspects. It is a sensitive issue, she said and added the infant mortality rate is also increasing and the officials have been directed to take care of the problems.

Emphasizing that malnutrition being yet another major problem, the minister said malnutrition is the problem that is observed especially in the age group of 0-3.

She said the mothers who go to work at factories are unable to feed their kids at the proper intervals. It is a sociological issue. The Deputy Commissioner needs to take measures to order factories to offer childcare or Anganavadi facilities. She added that the CSR (corporate social responsibility) funds should be used for the purpose.

Stating that the funds will be released to Balasanjeevini programme phase by phase at the earliest, she said that the government has no intention to stop ‘Bhagylaxmi Yojana,’ which was started by the former BJP government.

She said the government always supports the idea of empowering females. This particular programme ensures the control over female infanticide. However, the erstwhile Dakshina Kannada district has problems with the scheme following matriarchal tradition followed in this part of area. It will be sorted out, she assured.

She also added that 50 per cent of the appointments of Village Rehabilitation Workers (VRW) have been done and additional 50 per cent recruitment will be done shortly.

The honorarium will also be increased. The funds of three per cent earmarked for the disabled at Urban local bodies should be compulsory utilized for the welfare of the disabled. She said the SHGs are offered Rs 5,000 revolving fund up to five years accounting to Rs 25,000.

She said that as many as 147 cases have been reported in Udupi district under Women Atrocities Act, of which 85 are in Court, 62 are solved through counseling  and 32 have been sorted out. She said the district administration has been directed to recruit SHG members and transgender for D Group postings.

Earlier, speaking at the review meet, the minister said the awareness over ‘Mahila Santhvana’ centers is created at all Gram Sabhas. As many as 163 cases were reported in Mahila Santhvana center. She said as many as Rs 10 lakh from MLA funds should be earmarked for the welfare of the disabled. She stressed for appropriate survey for the disabled. 

The official said as many as four transgenders would be offered residential layout at Chantaru in Brahmavar. There are nine transgenders in the district and they are offered funds up to Rs 1.80 lakh.

Under Udyogini Yojane, as many as 89 beneficiaries are offered Rs 5.28 lakh subsidies. Additional 89 will be receiving the provision shortly. The target is 239 for 2014-15 fiscal year. The minister directed the official to keep a watch on play homes, which do not take care of children.

Many numbers of cases are reported over prevailing unhygienic conditions at play homes. The government is mulling over forming an integrated policy to take care of children. The play homes should be registered. The government has taken measures to concentrate over the needs of the children of migratory workers and children residing in slums. 

The Anganavadi workers and assistants would receive a compensation package of Rs 50,000 if they die on duty. She said the help line for senior citizens (1090), women (1091) and children (1098) should always work 24x7.

The numbers should be displayed at every nook and corner of the society. She also directed the officials to make the Women Help and Treatment centre to work more effectively.

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