Maharashtra govt puts hold on women empowerment scheme within 24 hours of announcement


The Maharashtra government’s swift decision to suspend a women’s empowerment scheme, just 24 hours after its announcement, has raised eyebrows. The initiative, known as the ‘Mukhymantri Mahila Sashaktikaran Abhiyan,’ was originally scheduled for implementation from October 2, 2023, to October 1, 2024.
According to the order issued on September 20, the program was to be overseen by the Minister of Women and Child Development, who would submit monthly reports to the “chief minister and deputy chief minister.” The department secretary was designated as the nodal officer, and a special officer was to be appointed at the state level. The Woman and Child Development Commissioner in Pune was set to head the initiative.
The program aimed to serve as a unified platform for implementing various state and central government programs and policies focused on women’s socio-economic development.
However, a fresh notification issued on September 21 abruptly put the previous day’s order on hold, pending further instructions.
It is noteworthy that the Women and Child Development Ministry is under the purview of Aditi Tatkare from the NCP, the sole woman in the state cabinet who had defected to join the Eknath Shinde-led government on July 2.
Despite the suspension of the scheme’s implementation, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde referenced it when discussing the women’s reservation bill’s recent passage in the Rajya Sabha, which aims to allocate one-third of seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women. In his statement, Shinde asserted that his government had decided to implement the ‘NaMo Women Empowerment Scheme,’ inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the intention of ensuring women benefit from all government programs.