TS Budget 2022: Barring slight modification to KCR nutrition kits, no new schemes for women

All Anganwadis in Telangana now provide nutritious food and added that the menu has also been improved.

By Nimisha S Pradeep  Published on  7 March 2022 2:16 PM GMT
TS Budget 2022: Barring slight modification to KCR nutrition kits, no new schemes for women

Hyderabad: Before listing out the state government's schemes for women, finance minister Harish Rao wished all the women of Telangana a very happy International Women's Day in advance. But the budget didn't have much happiness to offer to the women of the state apart from the existing schemes.

Finance minister T. Harish Rao on Monday said that women play a key part in the development of society. But the schemes that were read out in his budget speech were all already existing schemes. The only modification or slight improvement is with regard to the 'KCR nutrition kits' that has been extended to exclusively focus on the eradication of anaemia.

KCR nutrition kits for anaemia eradication

Explaining the programme, minister Rao said, "For this programme, the government has identified nine districts of the state – Adilabad, Komaram Bheem Asifabad, Bhadrachalam Kothagudem, Jayashankar Bhupalpally, Kamareddy, Vikarabad, Mulugu, Jogulamba Gadwal, and Nagarkurnool – where the problem of anaemia is common amongst pregnant women and lactating mothers. To overcome this problem, the government has decided to distribute a kit called 'KCR nutrition kit'. It will have all the necessary supplementary nutrition required. It is expected that every year around 1,25,000 women will benefit through this programme."

KCR kits

The Telangana government had introduced the KCR kits in 2017 for the welfare of mother and child. Explaining the programme, Mr. Rao said, "If a boy is born, an amount of Rs. 12,000 is given to the mother and if a girl is born, the amount is enhanced to Rs. 13,000. For the benefit of the mother and the newly-born child, a kit with 16 different items is distributed."

Mr. Rao said that so far, the government has distributed 10,85,462 KCR kits and with the introduction of the scheme, the number of institutional deliveries in government hospitals has increased from 30.5% to 56%.

Arogya Lakshmi

The government had introduced the Aarogya Lakshmi scheme in 2018 to provide nutritional security to poor women. Through this scheme, pregnant women are provided nutritious food in Anganwadis. The minister said all Anganwadis in Telangana now provide nutritious food and added that the menu has also been improved. He said till 2014, only 56% of Anganwadis used to provide such nutritious food.

"Now, in Telangana, the TRS government has ensured that not only 100% of the Anganwadis provide nutritious food but it has improved the menu and included milk and eggs.", the minister added.

Balika Arogya Raksha Scheme (health and hygiene kits)

The state government has been distributing health and hygiene kits to girls studying in government schools and government junior colleges since 2018. The minister expressed hope that the scheme would benefit seven lakh girls across the state.

Bathukamma sarees

Describing how important the Bathukamma festival is to the state and its women, the minister said, "The women of Telangana celebrate Bathukamma festival in a big way. After the formation of the state, the government is celebrating Bathukamma as a state festival. On the occasion of Bathukamma, the government, as a mark of respect to the women, is distributing sarees.

On the occasion of Ramzan and Christmas, the Minority women are also given sarees. Recently, the government distributed Pochampally sarees to the Anganwadi workers." He also added that such initiatives are also helping handloom and power loom workers.

Hike in salaries of Anganwadi workers

Minister Rao said the salaries of Anganwadi workers have been increased with the initiatives of the TRS government. "When Telangana was formed, the salary of an Anganwadi worker was Rs. 4,200. During the rule of the combined state when the workers agitated demanding a hike in their salaries, the then rulers crushed the agitation by deploying mounted policemen. The TRS government has understood the problems of Anganwadi workers. At present, the salary is enhanced to Rs. 13,650," added the minister.

He further said that the salary of mini-Anganwadi teachers has been hiked to Rs. 7,800 and that of Anganwadi helpers to Rs. 7,800. "There was a reduction in the government of India's contribution towards the salaries. Even then, bearing the additional expenditure, the government of Telangana has increased the salaries by more than three times. Telangana today is among the top states where the Anganwadi workers get the highest salaries," said Mr. Rao.

Bharosa centres

The government has established Bharosa centres across the state. These centres provide protection, immediate relief, and legal and medical aid to women who are victims of domestic violence. The government has also established POCSO courts to try cases related to sexual abuse against children, Mr. Rao said. Necessary funds for the functioning of these courts are provided. To control the menace of child trafficking in all the 33 districts of the state, special Bala Rakshaka vehicles are set up.

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