Social and Impact
Overview of policies and schemes to address healthcare and financial security issues for women
12 Jul 2021
Society needs financially independent women to grow and develop at a sustainable pace. The Government, NGOs, and private charities have come up with schemes and initiatives to make financial aids accessible to women, and address prevalent issues women face. A chain of networks will help women to grow in their various phases of life and inspire more employment opportunities.
There are approximately 63 million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India, and women run about 8 million i.e. 12.6 percent. MSMEs are the second biggest employment sector after agriculture and contribute to over 30 percent of the GDP.
Due to the lockdown, 90 percent of women entrepreneurs reported a substantial downfall in their sales revenues. Factors like low levels of gain and higher rates of unpaid work, women-led MSMEs’ recovery has gradually slowed down.
Policies for women to address healthcare challenges
Breast cancer, mental health, cardiovascular health, and complicated pregnancies are the major health issues faced by women. Lack of education in health and hygiene, female foeticides, gender discrimination, and inadequate hospital services are major reasons for health weakening. In this blog, we have captured few schemes which are work in progress towards addressing few key issues directed at women's health and financial insecurities.

 a) Government
Schemes   Salience
The Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana
  • To provide funds to pregnant women so that they can have a safe delivery and avail better health services 
Janani Suraksha Yojana
  • Encourage pregnant women especially in BPL, SC, and ST category to deliver in health Institutions
  • To reduce maternal and infant deaths 
Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakara
  • Free and cashless delivery and providing free medicines to pregnant women
  • Includes free transportation to hospitals and back home 
  • “Swachhagraha” to promote women’s health and hygiene
  • Create awareness and provide logistics on sanitary napkins for women and girls in rural and urban areas 
Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan
  • Free antenatal services and required treatment to pregnant women
  • Monthly checkups will take place at the medical centers, government and private hospitals, and private clinics
  • Free of cost medical tests 

 b) Private NGOs
 NGOs Salience 
Swasthya Swaraj 
  • Focuses on health and education and is successfully active in 76 villages
  • Access to safe maternal care 
Apna Ghar Ashram
  • Not to let anyone die due to ill health or lack of shelter
  • Support destitute and disabled women get a safe and caring home 
Ashadeep Mission
  • Rescues women with mental health issues and provides them with shelter, food, and medical care 
Foundation for Mother and Child Health (FMCH)
  • To bring good health and nutritional provisions to vulnerable mothers and children in poor communities
  • Services include regular growth monitoring, availability of accurate information, and support from the detection of pregnancy till the child completes two years of age 

Policies for women to eliminate financial challenges faced

   a) Government
 Schemes Salience 
Annapurna Scheme
  • Women can set up their own food catering unit by granting business finance of around Rs.50,000. A loan can be repaid in 36 installments and requires security
  • Also focuses on the distribution of food among the economically downtrodden sections of the country 
Stree Shakti Package
  • Empowering women economically by granting them credit for their small businesses
  • Enhancing credit financing opportunities are available to women in rural areas
  • Increase income level of rural women 
Udyogini Scheme
  • Providing subsidized loans to women entrepreneurs from rural areas
  • Promote financial empowerment and self-reliance
  • Imparts functional skills to women regarding pricing, fund management, business planning 
Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana Scheme
  • Women entrepreneurs of non-corporate and small and micro-enterprises can avail of loans up to 10 lakhs at affordable rates of interest
  • A loan is disbursed in three different types: Shishu, Kishore, and Tarun depending on the funding requirement and the level of growth of the business 
Cent Kalyani Scheme
  • Offers loan amount to women for meeting capital expenditure and working capital requirements
  • A loan amount of up to 10 lakhs is provided to women entrepreneurs from the MSME sector. 
Bhartiya Mahila Business Loan
  • Indian women in the manufacturing sector can avail of this scheme to meet their working capital requirements or to expand their businesses.
  • Collateral-free loans are offered up to a certain amount. 

   b) Private NGOs
 NGOs Salience 
SEWA (Self Employed Women's Association)
  • To make women stronger by making them financially independent 
WIEF (Woman Innovation Entrepreneurs Foundation)
  • Funding Indian women entrepreneurs through teaching them various problem-solving incremental innovation techniques such as design thinking, business modeling, managing changes, and other technologies, skill development, etc. 
Key benefits of the prevalent schemes:
  • These schemes overcome the healthcare challenges and increase the financial stability of women by empowering them and helping them to grow personally and in their social circles.
  • Women are empowered to handle household responsibilities independently apart without being constrained by health or financial issues especially post-marriage.
  • These schemes encourage equal opportunities for women in their professions and their own homes. There are numerous case studies internationally and nationally where women have set examples by assuming positions or roles of significant responsibility and prominence across industries or sectors.
  • Finally, these high-impact initiatives are creating a big difference in terms of creating opportunities for the advancement of women and inspiring them to flourish and become an asset to society, by eliminating biases and bad practices at the grassroots level.
Authored by:
Lokesh Bohra, Senior Vice President, Social and Impact Advisory

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