The Delhi government has announced the opening of special mohalla clinics for women across the city in the next financial year to offer free gynaecological and other medical facilities to them within close proximity to their homes. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia made the announcement while presenting the government’s annual budget for year 2021-22, in which Rs 9,934 crore — which is 14 percent of the total budget — has been allocated to the healthcare sector.
"Our government has opened Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics to make healthcare and medicines for minor ailments accessible to people, for which otherwise they had to travel long distances or shell out large sums of money at a private clinic," said Sisodia.
"In the first phase, 100 'Mahila Mohalla Clinics' are proposed to be established in different parts of Delhi, which will be progressively increased to at least one clinic in each ward. I understand that this is taken in the direction of keeping half of its population respectfully healthy, which will be the most important step so far in the history of 75 years of independent India. For a step such as this, what better time can there be, than the 75th anniversary of our independence," he added.
Moreover, the Delhi government has also launched a new scheme called the ‘Saheli Samanvay Kendra’ to empower women by setting up 500 anganwadi hubs in various parts of the city. These hubs will be established for incubating startups as well as to promote self-help groups.
"Special arrangements will be made in the hubs for required training to be imparted to open micro-economic units and for holding meetings of self-help groups," he said.
Sisodia has earmarked Rs 4,750 crore for the Department of Social Welfare, Women and Child Development and welfare of SC/ST/OBC.
The announcement came after a survey was conducted by the Delhi government to understand the impact of the Covid-19 crisis. The findings showed that the unemployment rate among women has gone up from 26 percent in February last year to 40 percent in February 2021.
"45 percent of these women have completed class 12 and 60 percent of them are less than 30 years of age. It is essential to financially empower these women and integrate them with the economy of the family and the state," he added.
Sisodia also highlighted other women-centric moves, including the setting up of 33 self-help units to make women from financially weaker backgrounds aware of the existing schemes.
(Edited by Amrita Ghosh)