Salaam Bharat - Shakti
Over 190 million females in India are illiterate. They are living miserable lives. They have to bear responsibility of household work from early age or they have to work at different places to earn money. They often become the victims of harassment and sometimes physical exploitation even. They are treated as a curse to the family as family will have to afford dowry at the time of their marriage. Due to the same reason, female infants are often killed.
The development of women in India - who according to the 1991 census represent 48.1 per cent of the country's population - has occupied the centre-stage in our development planning since independence. However, it was in 1980s that women were recognised as a separate target group and given their rightful place in developmental planning by including a separate chapter viz., 'Women and Development' in the Sixth Plan Document (1980-85). This marked the final breakaway from a welfare approach to women's problems in the earlier years. Since then, all efforts of the government have been directed towards bringing women into the mainstream of the national development process by raising their overall status -social, economic, political and legal - at par with that of men.
India has always been a relentless champion of the cause of women at all international and national fora. The policy makers realise that real development cannot take roots if it bypasses women, who represent the very kernel around which social change must take shape. The past few years have seen unprecedented changes in the political, diplomatic, economic and ideological spheres, but certain quiet but perhaps more far reaching developments have also taken roots. From growth to growth with equity, from routine delivery of services to people's participation, from economic development to human development and from services endowment to empowerment, the paradigms of development have certainly come a long way.
Women and the five year plans
The first Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru presented the first five-year plan to the Parliament of India on December 8, 1951. The first plan sought to get the country's economy out of the cycle of poverty. The plan addressed, mainly, the agrarian sector, including investments in dams and irrigation. Agricultural sector was hit hardest by partition and needed urgent attention. The total plan budget of 206.8 billion INR (23.6 billion USD in the 1950 exchange rate) was allocated to seven broad areas: irrigation and energy (27.2 percent), agriculture and community development (17.4 percent), transport and communications (24 percent), industry (8.4 percent), social services (16.64 percent), land rehabilitation (4.1 percent), and other (2.5 percent). ........ Know More