The Swadhar Scheme is an important scheme of the Ministry of women and child development which caters to women in difficult circumstances, especially widows deserted by families , women prisoners released from jails and without family support etc.
In Indian society ,women are traditionally discriminated against and excluded from political and family related decisions . Despite the large amount of work women must do on a daily basis to support their families, their opinions are rarely acknowledged and their rights are limited.
Although Indian family as a social institution is well known for the emotional and physical support that it provides to its extended members, many a time it fails to respond to the needs of women, especially for women in difficult circumstance like widows, destitute and deserted women, women ex-prisoners, victims of sexual abuse and crimes, including those trafficked and rescued from brothels, migrant or refugee women who have been rendered homeless due to natural calamities like flood, cyclone, earthquake, mentally challenged women, women victims of terrorist violence etc. Often the support of immediate or extended family are not available due to reasons ranging from economic instability of the family to provide such support to the breakdown of joint family system to the social bias against the marginalized women as also the attitude and value attached to such women. Sometimes society itself drives such women out of the system to lead lives of sub human existence. More often vulnerable women in distress end up as beggars or prostitutes for their own survival and at times for survivals and maintenance of their dependent children.
Under the scheme, Swadhar Greh will be set up in every district with capacity of 30 women with the following objectives:
• To cater to the primary need of shelter , food , clothing , medical treatment.
• To take care of the women in distress and who are without social and economical support.
• To enable them to regain their emotional strength that gets hampered due to their readjustment in family/society.
• To rehabilitate them economically and emotionally.
For big cities and other districts having more than 40 lakh population or those districts where there is a need for additional support to the women, more than one Swadhar Greh could be established. The capacity of Swadhar Greh could be expanded up to 50 or 100 on the basis of need assessment and other important parameters.
The benefit of the component could be availed by women above 18 years of age of the following categories:
• Women who are deserted and are without any social and economic support.
• Women victims of domestic violence, family tension or discord, who are made to leave their homes without any means of subsistence and have no special protection from exploitation and/ or facing litigation on account of marital disputes.
• Women prisoners released from jail and are without family, social and economic support.
• Women survivors of natural disasters who have been rendered homeless and are without any social and economic support.
Women above 18 years, who are deserted and are without any social, economical support and women affected by domestic violence etc. are eligible for this scheme. Every women in this scheme will get legal services , vocational training, medical facilities, shelter, food, clothing, counselling and total care will be provided.
Swadhar Greh facilities could also be availed by the children accompanying women in the above categories. Girls up to the age of 18 years and boys up to the age of 8 years would be allowed to stay in the Swadhar Greh with their mothers. (Boys of more than 8 years of age need to be shifted to the Children Homes run under JJ Act/ICPS.)