PMGKY strategy: Strengthen women to defeat COVID-19
Government of India announced a series of pro-poor initiatives under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, as part of its robust economic response to Covid-19. Under this yojana various schemes are women centric. And this is because of several reasons. Indian women play the most important role in feeding the family and keeping it together. They supplement or even earn large proportion of family income as wage earners or by doing farming related activities. They cook and feed the family. They take care of sick and infirm. Thus, in a period of lockdown, when families are expected to survive without several economic opportunities and within the confines of homes, women have to inevitably play a leading role.
As part of this PMGK Yojana, free LPG refills are to be provided to the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala beneficiaries over the period of 3 months, from April to June 2020. Ujjwala yojana was especially designed for woman beneficiaries to give her a dignified, safe, easy and non-polluting method of cooking.
PM Kisan Yojana benefits 8.7 crore farmers which also includes marginal woman farmers. Under this scheme Government is front-loading Rs 2,000 to farmers from April.
Let us see how it has made a practical impact. Beneficiary Kangabam Thoibi from Imphal received old age Pension and also free refill from Ujjwala Yojana. Thoibi belongs to a BPL family and she is supporting her family even at this old age. The little help the government has brought great relief for her family. Apart from this her family has also got free food grains from Ann Yojana. Several widows in Manipur have similar stories to tell. They have got the farming subsidy of Rs.2000/- under PM Kisan Yojan and also Rs.3066/- under MNREGA. Apart from this their families have received 5kgs each of free rice for the month of April.
Pathingla Shimrah who is a marginal farmer shared shared her experience saying that she received Rs.2000 from PM KISAN. She was initially worried because this lockdown has rendered her jobless as she couldn’t go out and start farming. But she has appreciated the Government for the timely action of allowing farming during lockdown and also for providing the money from which she had bought fertilizers. She also added that she got free rice for her family.
Manu Kaping from Ukhrul district, Manipur said she received Rs. 2000 in her account as financial assistance under PM Kishan. During lockdown period, her family could purchase daily essential items and also have started agricultural activities out of the money received. With this timely and thoughtful intervention of the government her livelihood measure has been saved and she has started earning again without compromising social distancing.
Ch. Borkeina from Awang Potshangbam Khunou, Imphal East district, Manipur has received Rs. 500 as Old Age Pension under PMGKY. The amount has come handy at such a hard time for her family. Apart from this her family has received free rice under Ann Yojana also.
Another beneficiary is K. Chandrajini from Mahabali Road, Imphal West, Manipur. For Ujjwala Yojana, she had received Rs. 891 in her DBT bank account with which she purchased cooking gas for her family. Besides this, her family has received 20kgs of rice for her 4 member family under PMGK Ann Yojana.
Another beneficiary Ahanbai Devi from Wangoo Manipur relating her story said she got Rs.500 in her Jan dhanyojana, the amount was a great help to her family. Her family also got free rice, so she doesn’t have to worry about food much now. She is hoping she will receive another instalment of free foodgrains for month of May very soon. W. Neeru Devi is also a beneficiary of Ann Yojana ,she said her family received 15 kgs of rice and said her villagers also got the same benefit .She is grateful for the help from the Government. Ibeton Devi from Wangoi, S. Kundalei also received 5 kgs of rice for each family. Being a woman it’s like a responsibility to provide food for the family as male folks cant also go out an earn a living. This help has been a great help for them. They extended their gratitude to the government and said they support the lockdown for the safety of the citizens
These experiences underline the strategy that is behind the lockdown- help people maintain a high degree of social distancing without facing extreme financial distress. With sincere support of the people, social distancing will go a long way in containing the spread of the disease and will ultimately help us defeat it. PIB