Delhi govt to rationalise social welfare schemes
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Last Updated: Wednesday, November 03, 2010, 18:45
New Delhi: In an effort to streamline social welfare initiatives, Delhi Government is planning to trim the list of over 40 schemes being implemented by various departments into 12 comprehensive programmes so that their delivery mechanism could be monitored effectively.

Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta said the government is in the process of "complete rationalisation of all schemes based on a life cycle approach" and six schemes have already been discontinued.

Addressing a press conference to highlight success of its ambitious Mission Convergence programme, he said the Government was also working on developing a "dynamic Family Development Index" which will measure the impact of various schemes among the intended beneficiaries.

Mission Convergence was initiated by the government in the year 2008 to provide various services and facilities to the poor and downtrodden under one roof. The Government has set up 120 Samajik Suvidha Kendras (social welfare centres) across the city to provide the services to the intended beneficiaries.

The programme was awarded two gold medals by the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) in its annual conference held at Malta last month. Mission Convergence was among the 12 finalists selected from 150 entries from across the globe.

Mehta said the Samajik Suvidha Kendras impart skills to the vulnerable women, organise them into Self Help Groups, create micro enterprises, hold regular health clinics, impart non-formal and adult education, besides offering various benefits under social welfare schemes.

"The programme involved communities and converged inter-sectoral services under a single umbrella, in order to extend reach of welfare services to the poorest households by understanding their different needs," he said.

Mehta said under the programme, government prepared one application form for getting benefits of over 40 welfare schemes instead of having separate application forms for each programme. He said the Mission partnered with 124 local NGOs acted as the extended arms of the government and effectively mobilised people at the grassroots, reaching out to each and every poor person in the city.

"The survey found 1.98 lakh people above the age limit of 65 in the city while identified 16,456 poor people having some kind of serious diseases. We found 54,964 disabled people while 47,763 were identified as widows. We are now providing required social security to all these people," he said.

The survey also found that 2,276 households in the city are being run by children.

Mehta said the Mission has worked out a solution whereby an inbuilt partnership with banks has been structured under which e-entitlement cards will be given to all the entitlement holders with a bank.

"Under the system, cash assistance given by the different departments will be deposited into a dedicated account of the beneficiary," he said.

Speaking about the beggars, he said government is in the process of framing a new legislation under which beggars will be provided social security.

The Chief Secretary said the programme has enabled the Government to develop a more realistic and accurate poverty estimate.

"Earlier there were 400, 000 households enrolled as families below poverty line. Mission Convergence has identified double of these numbers who were actually poor and vulnerable," he said adding the criteria of income for identifying the poor people was changed.

"We had to change the criteria as the city clearly had a substantial number of people with higher levels of income yet vulnerable in other ways," he said adding vulnerable people were identified considering various other parameters.

Poverty maps were developed comprising all the poor and vulnerable areas of the city and door-to-door survey which was conducted to ensure that the entire population including the homeless could be reached out. So far over five million people have been surveyed.

"What is also very significant is that through the entire process a large pool of human capital has been created as local resources and has been developed through intensive training and capacity building," he added.


First Published: Wednesday, November 03, 2010, 18:45

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