Education is the key instrument for women empowerment. Not only does it provide them with an equal stature in the society but it also encourages them to work towards the growth of the economy.
Rajasthan being the largest state of India in terms of area, has always been associated with stigmas like illiteracy and gender inequality. In the rural areas, women are neither allowed to get proper education nor allowed to work as per their choice.
The previous Ashok Gehlot lead Congress Government failed to improve condition of women in our society, indifferent towards proper infrastructure, scheme framework and facilities. Identifying the grass root cause of such backwardness in the state, current Chief Minister of Rajasthan SmtVasundharaRaje took a massive step for bringing majorimprovements in the lives andstatus of women in the State.
In the light of International Girl Child day, it is relevant how Chief Minister VasundharaRajebrought about a girl-child centric programme named ‘MukhyamantriRajshriYojana’ to empower girls of Rajasthan. There are many instances where the girl child in Rajasthan is deprived of her basic right to education. MukhyamantriRajshriYojana is dedicated to all girl students, especially those who are from poor and backward families, by giving them financial support for basic education. Under this initiative, girls born after June 1, 2016 will get timely scholarships right from their primary classes up to their higher studies.
In order to make a girl child more educated and empowered so they live with their heads held high, the government has set aside a budget focussing primarily on the welfare of women. Families with a girl child born after June 1, 2016 will be given Rs 2500 at the time of her birth. Rs 2500 will again be given on her first birthday. This will reduce the infant mortality rate as most rural families kill their girl child within the first year of her birth. Rs 4000 is set aside to be given after the girl child is enrolled for primary education and Rs 5000 will be given at the time she is promoted to sixth standard. To encourage higher studies, Rs 11,000 will be given when the girl child enters tenth grade and finally Rs 25,000 will be given after she passes twelfth standard.
Simultaneously, there is also a need to check the dropout rate, which is fairly high, particularly among rural areas. The government realizes the importance of education in bringing about basic change in the status of women and hence with the help of the Department of Women and Child Affairs, Rajasthan, provide them with financial support for basic education in the form of grants or scholarships.
With an alarmingly low rate of sex ratio, Rajasthan is sinking further in terms of female literacy rate with just 52.6% whereas the average is about 65% in India. Initiatives like MukhyamantriRajshriYojana will surely help in improving the overall rank of Rajasthan in terms of literacy rate as only 20-25per cent women in rural India are literate. This constitutes one third of the urban female literary rate.
Literacy among women opens up many opportunities for them for their empowerment. Literate women are said to be more efficient and confident in every sector of work. Studies have shown that women invest money more wisely and make sound decisionscomparatively.
What most people fail to understand is the fact that the development of a country is directly linked with women’s welfare and productivity. Educating a women can change the behaviour of an entire generation that is necessary for a better life.
Initiatives like this throws a light on the future of a state. CM Raje surely has a vision for Rajasthan which gives both men and women equal statures in the society. Women are the educators of the next generation and it is through them that innovations can be re-modelled for better results. With MukhyamantriRajshriYojana, the government is making sure topromotethe role of a women within the society.