Muslim women to oversee welfare schemes

Centre to train about 33,000 women in the first year

Women from the Muslim community will be trained as community leaders to keep an eye on various development initiatives.

“It might be setting up of a fair price shop in the locality, or picking up loopholes in a BPL scheme, faulty delivery of the mid day meal system in schools or non-functioning of anganwadis....Minority women will be trained to stand up and fight for their rights,” an official in the Ministry of Minority Affairs told Deccan Herald here on Wednesday.

Though the Scheme for Leadership Development of Minority Women has a pan-Indian approach, the focus will be on minority-dominated districts.

The scheme, to be implemented by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, will impart training to about 33,000 women in the first year.

“In the remaining period of the 11 Five Year Plan about 1,83,000 women will be trained as community leaders across the country. The Planning Commission has allocated Rs 48 crore for the scheme, which will take off within a couple of months,” the official said.

Later in the day, launching the scheme, Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said 25 per cent of the trainees would also be selected from Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and disabled women.

The objective of the scheme, which will be open to women of 18 to 65 years and with a family income limit of Rs 2.5 lakh per annum, will be to provide knowledge, tools and techniques for interacting with government systems, banks and intermediaries at all levels.

Leadership training
The scheme is envisaged to reach out to women through NGOs/organisations/institutions, who will be provided with financial support for conducting leadership development trainings so that beneficiaries can be empowered and emboldened to move out of the confines of home and assume leadership roles.

Training will be provided in the village for six days so that women’s household chores will not be affected. A second module of residential training will also be prepared.
The scheme will also be linked with the micro-credit programme of the National Minority Finance Development Corporation so that the women can  set up their own enterprises.

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