“Congress Unveils Bold ‘Mahila Nyay’ Plan: Empowering Women on Multiple Fronts”

March 14, 2024 5:41 am

In a bid to invigorate its electoral prospects and reaffirm its commitment to gender equality, the Congress party has resurrected and expanded its ambitious NYAY (Nyuntam Aay Yojana) scheme, now dubbed ‘Mahila Nyay.’ Spearheaded by party president Mallikarjun Kharge and senior leader Rahul Gandhi, the revamped initiative promises transformative benefits for women from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

The centerpiece of the ‘Mahila Nyay’ program is the ‘Mahalakshmi guarantee,’ offering an annual stipend of Rs 1 lakh to one woman from each impoverished family. This bold move aims to alleviate financial burdens and empower women as primary beneficiaries, aligning with the party’s vision of inclusive growth.

While specifics regarding the overall financial implications and the number of families to be covered remain forthcoming, former Chhattisgarh Deputy Chief Minister and Congress manifesto committee convenor, T S Singh Deo, emphasized the need for government collaboration to accurately assess and identify eligible beneficiaries. Despite challenges in data availability, the party remains steadfast in its commitment to realizing this ambitious goal.

In addition to the economic empowerment agenda, the Congress pledges to address systemic barriers hindering women’s participation in the workforce. The promise of 50% reservation for women in new appointments within the central government marks a significant step towards gender parity in governance and underscores the party’s progressive stance on gender representation.

Further enhancing its ‘Mahila Nyay’ agenda, the Congress vows to enhance support for frontline workers in crucial sectors. Doubling the Centre’s contribution to the salaries of Anganwadi, ASHA, and mid-day meal scheme workers acknowledges their indispensable role in community welfare and underscores the party’s commitment to dignified livelihoods for women in essential services.

Beyond economic empowerment, the Congress’s manifesto outlines holistic measures to uplift women across various facets of society. Initiatives such as the appointment of legal assistants in every panchayat to educate women on their rights, and the establishment of working women’s hostels named after social reformer Savitribai Phule, underscore the party’s comprehensive approach to gender justice.

Kharge emphasized the non-negotiable nature of these guarantees, contrasting them with mere political rhetoric. The ‘Mahila Nyay’ plan reflects the party’s unwavering resolve to champion women’s rights and socioeconomic empowerment, underscoring the pivotal role of gender equity in shaping a more inclusive and equitable society.

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