Mahila Samakhya Yojana, Empowerment of women through education

Mahila Samakhya Yojana, Empowerment of women through education

Mahila+Samakhya+Yojana

Mahila samakhya is a women's movement which has transformed the lives of women in 14000 villages in 60 districts of nine states of India namely Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar, Assam, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttaranchal. Started as an awareness program by the Ministry of HRD in pursuance of the National Policy on Education-1986 as updated in 1992, today, it has entered in the area of education, health, human rights and governance with the objective of creating a gender just society. The Mahila Sanghas which are the focal points of the upsurge, run schools, dispensaries, banks, markets and participate in Pnachayati Raj Institutions. The 'Nari Adalats' first started by Gujarat have now been adopted by all Mahila Samakhya (MS) states and are emerging as credible alternative forums easily accessible not only to Sangha Women but to the community at large. The Mahila Samakhya strategy has been adopted by other states also such as Haryana where women agitated successfully against alcoholism, in Himachal Pradesh where they demonstrated against polygamy and in Tamil Nadu where they protested against 'Devadasis'. In general they have taken up issues such as dowry , voilance against women, infanticide, foetus deaths, child labor. 'Didi banks', 'Kishori Sanghas', 'Jago Behna', are some of the other offshoots of the MS. The programme has helped generate a demand for literacy, increased women recognition and visibility in the family, society and the community, given women the strength and ability to demand accountability and transperancy from the government. A number of evaluation studies have indicated the effectiveness of the programme which is Gandhiyan both in concept and implementation. 
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The philosophy behind the programm is Gandhian whose main features are volunteerism, community participation, decentralization, mass mobilization, area specific, cost effective and time bound. It is the finest example of what is called the non-formal system of empowering women at almost no cost. It will be relevant in this connection to quote from the National Policy of Education which states:

"Education will be used as an agent of basic change in the status of women. In order to neutralize the accumulated distortions of the past, there will be a well conceived edge in favor of women. The national system will play a positive interventionist role in the empowerment of women. In will develop new values through re-designed curricula, text-books, the training and orientation of teachers, decision-makers and administrators, the active involvement of educational institutions". This will be an act of faith and social engineering. Women's studies will be promoted as a part of various courses and educational institutions encouraged to take up active progrmmes to further women's development.

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The policy document further states that the removal of women's illiteracy and obstackels inhibiting their access to, and retention in, elementary education will receive over-riding priority, through provision of essential support services, setting of time-targets and effective monitoring. Major emphasis was on to be laid on women's participation in vocational, technical and professional education at different levels. The policy of non-discrimination was to be pursued vigorously to eliminate sex-stereotyping in vocational and professional courses and promote women's active participation in non-traditional occupations, as well as in existing and emergent technologies. The government's scheme of Community polytechniques takes care of the above policy parameters.

 Source : https://mhrd.gov.in

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