Delhi govt to rationalise social welfare schemes

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.

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
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

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

"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.