Srinagar, July 21: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Friday said that the government’s top priority was the economic empowerment of the underprivileged.
Chairing a meeting at the civil secretariat to review performance of the Department of Social Welfare, functioning of various verticals and implementation of central and J&K government’s welfare schemes, the LG said, “Social safety net, social and economic empowerment of underprivileged is our top priority. The benefits of overall progress and economic growth must reach marginalised sections of society and it is our moral and constitutional duty to address the needs of the last man in the queue and ensure dignity to all.”
He directed the officers to ensure 100 percent saturation of all welfare schemes and impact assessment of ongoing schemes.
“The process for the documentation and sanctioning of the eligible applications should be responsive, seamless and simplified,” Sinha said. “Bring about change in the delivery mechanisms by making field functionaries more accountable, participative and integrate efforts to achieve social objectives.”
He told the officers that the Right to Education, empowerment of women, joyful childhood, greater security, and quality life to elderly should be ensured.
Reviewing the implementation of welfare schemes for women and children, the LG said that the safety and security of women and children in J&K was utmost priority for the administration.
He directed for a dedicated integrated mechanism for conducting awareness programmes and ensuring cases were reported, investigated, and stringent action taken.
“All possible assistance should be provided to those in distress,” Sinha said.
The meeting also discussed the welfare measures for persons with disabilities, transgenders, old aged and senior citizens, SCs and STs, Pahari community and other beneficiaries.
“Adequate attention and sensitivity is required to increase employment opportunities for disadvantaged groups under SC, ST, OBC Development Corporation, Women Development Corporation, and self employment schemes so that they can be made equal partners in development,” the LG said.
He directed for impact assessment of rehabilitation efforts of the drug abuse victims.
“Create avenues for their self-employment, handholding for livelihood generations and capacity building to integrate them back into the society,” Sinha said.
He instructed the Social Welfare Department to organise two mega camps for persons with disabilities in collaboration with the Government of India, one each in Kashmir and Jammu divisions.
The LG directed for involving Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and members of Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) for 100 percent saturation of disability certificates to all the eligible beneficiaries.
He took appraisal of the implementation of schemes and programmes like Mission Vatsalya, Ladli Beti, Marriage Assistance Scheme, infrastructure upgradation of children and senior citizen homes, working of One Stop Centres, drug demand reduction and de-addiction activities, community mobilisation, and IEC activities of the department.
Discussions were also held on recruitment of Sanginis and Sahayikas, rehabilitation of children on streets, close monitoring of helplines, clearing pendency, penetration of new Anganwadi centres at grassroot level, implementation of Poshan Tracker and participation of inmate of children homes in Independence Day events.
Commissioner Secretary, Social Welfare Department Sheetal Nanda gave a detailed overview of the working of the department.
She briefed the meeting on the constitution of various committees, best practices of the department, achievements of students from Residential School for Visually Impaired, and compensation under POCSO.
It was informed that all children homes were branded uniformly across J&K as Palaash (for boys), Pareesha (for girls), and Specialised Adoption Agency (SAA) as Phulwadi.
Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta; Principal Secretary, Finance Department, Santosh D Vaidya; Principal Secretary to LG Mandeep Kumar Bhandari; Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Ramesh Kumar; and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Vijay Bidhuri also attended the meeting.