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Haryana government launches schemes to empower women

National, Mon, 17 Nov 2008 IANS

Chandigarh, Nov 17 (IANS) Haryana, which has one the worst sex ratio's in the country and where two teenage girls were recently lynched in a case of 'honour killing', is planning to implement various projects to strengthen the status of women in the state.


Dharam Vir, chief secretary of Haryana, admits that there have been many cases of 'honour killings' and intolerance against women of the state in the past, the most recent being the two cases in Bhiwani district around 300 km from here.



Vir said: 'There are several cases of atrocities and honour killings and we are taking such cases very seriously. However, we cannot change the situation overnight, as there is a need to bring a social change in the state.



'Our first priority is to arrest the declining sex ratio and to address the problem of female foeticide in the state. We have observed that there has been a marginal increase in the sex ratio in the last few years.'



In the 2001 census, Haryana had recorded a terribly low sex ratio in the 0-6 years age bracket at 819 females per 1,000 males, which placed it at the bottom of all states.



The overall sex ratio in the state as per the 2001 census was 861 females per 1,000 males. This figure was even lower than the findings of the 1991 census where the sex ratio was 865 females per 1,000 males.



'We have provisions under which the districts showing improvement in declining sex ratio and securing first, second and third positions in the state will be given cash prizes. The state government has disbursed Rs.489.7 million to 71,425 beneficiaries covered under 'Ladli' scheme since Aug 20 2005,' Vir said.



Under the 'Ladli' scheme, Rs.5,000 per year will be given for five years to the family on the birth of a second daughter.



He added: 'The only solution to address the female problems is to reinforce the image of the woman and to inspire her to fight for her rights. We need to bring females to the mainstream and to involve them in the decision making process so that they will realize their worth.'



'It is sad that despite the launch of various welfare schemes keeping in mind the good interest of females, very few women are coming forward to avail them,' Vir said.



'The state government has reserved 25 percent seats in every engineering college and polytechnic for females; 30 percent of teaching posts in all the government schools have also been reserved for females,' Vir said.



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