The I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar has asked all ministries to initiate media campaigns beginning Feb 15, highlighting the achievements of the welfare programs undertaken by their respective ministries in the Modi government.
The Delhi poll debacle has prompted the BJP high command to do introspection on the factors leading to defeat. One of the takeaways is poor communication of the benefits of the welfare projects undertaken by the government across the country, and the central government wishes to take corrective measures.
Here are some welfare works of the Modi government likely to be highlighted in the upcoming campaigns.
~ Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP)
~ JAM: Just Achieving Maximum
~ UDAY: Bringing light to where it matters
~ Jan Dhan Yojana
If one looks beyond the political cacophony in Parliament and television studios, there are some very good government initiatives delivering excellent welfare benefits to various sections of society.
Too much focus is on GDP and PMI numbers as a measure of what’s happening in the economy. However, going beyond these parameters, there is a silent revolution taking shape where people’s lives are changing for the better.
It’s time to look at some of these welfare initiatives.
All governments are well-intentioned; it’s the execution and monitoring of programs that often differentiates the quality and level of benefits received by the beneficiary.
Nine months into the second term of PM Modi, it is a good time to see how various welfare programs are shaping up and how the people perceive its benefits.
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP)
The Girl Child is finally beginning to find her place in society. Mindsets take time to change; BBBP has accelerated that process, and the results are showing.
A pet project of the Prime Minister, BBBP initiative was launched in 2015, aimed at saving, celebrating, and developing the girl child. In scale and benefits, the results are indeed impressive.
Initially, the program targeted 100 districts, later extended to 160. Driven by the success achieved, the program extended across all 640 districts in March 2018.
Saving the girl child is a priority, and the results are showing. Take the case of 80 villages of Kapurthala district of Punjab, where the Child Sex Ratio was declining. The program saw 60 of 80 villages improve the Child Sex Ratio, a major achievement in a deeply patriarchal society.
Similar results reported from Rewa in Madhya Pradesh. The program created awareness among women to avoid prenatal sex determination tests and educated on the benefits of raising a girl child. The program commenced in January 2016, and today, 8,550 happy mothers are busy nurturing their girl child.
The success stories extend across the country.
JAM: Just Achieving Maximum
JAM aimed at achieving:
- Maximum values for every Rupee
- Maximum empowerment for the poor
- Maximum technology for the masses
The Prime Minister launched the very ambitious Jan Dhan Yojana in his first year in office. The efficient use of this program, along with Aadhaar and Mobile, resulted in delivering massive financial and social benefits to the masses.
Since its launch in 2014, the results achieved have been phenomenal and unmatched anywhere in the world. Jan Dhan Yojana created a social welfare template making it easy to launch, implement, and monitor other welfare programs.
The numbers speak for themselves.
The opening of bank accounts paved the way for Direct Transfer of Subsidies to beneficiaries’ accounts addressed an age-old problem of corruption and leaks in the system.
The government is concurrently implementing 30-40 different programs through direct transfer of benefits. Under the PAHAL Yojana alone, Rs 40,000 crore of LPG subsidy was transferred in 2015.
UDAY: Bringing light to where it matters
Living in urban areas, we take electricity, fans and ACs for granted with the flick of a switch. Ask our rural counterpart what it means to get any electricity at all, leave alone luxuries like fans and ACs.
In early 2014, the power generation situation was grim. Sixty-six per cent of power generating units held coal stocks of just seven days. Rural areas were starved of electricity through the heat of summer and the freeze of winter, depending on which part of the country they lived.
Today, the rural electrification program has brought light into the lives of the neglected, improving lives in more ways than we can imagine living in the comforts of our urban homes.
Making electricity available was one challenge; making it affordable was another beast altogether. The UDAY scheme has changed that and the numbers speak for themselves.
Over 30 states agreed to join the UDAY initiative; take a look at the beneficiaries:
Over 100 per cent rural households which were unconnected now have electricity. In March 2016, 1564.1 lakh households had access to electricity; March 2020, 1989.03 lakh households have electricity.
Some of the best performing states, from target to achievement, as on Sept 2019 were:
- Madhya Pradesh: Pre-UDAY Household – 15.21 lakh; Post-UDAY households – 31.21 lakh households
- Maharashtra: Pre-UDAY Households – 9.49 lakh; Post-UDAY households – 32.8 lakh households
- Assam: Pre-UDAY Households – Zero households; Post-UDAY households – 26.37 lakh households
- Telangana: Pre-UDAY Households – 6.05 lakh; Post-UDAY households – 11.0 lakh households
The next challenge was to make it affordable for them to use the electricity and also bring down the overall cost through savings in electricity consumption.
The government decided to distribute LED bulbs to rural households. The results are significant.
The total target for distributing LED bulbs in the target states was 636.99 lakh in March 2016; Post-UDAY, the number rose to 2,853.04 lakh as of March 2020.
The best performing states on target vs achievement, as on Sept 30, 2019, are:
- Assam: Pre-UDAY – Zero bulbs; Post-UDAY – 56.95 lakh bulbs
- Maharashtra: Pre-UDAY – 83 lakh bulbs; Post-UDAY – 102.18 lakh bulbs
- Telangana: Pre-UDAY – 12.43 lakh bulbs; Post-UDAY – 17.72 lakh bulbs
- Himachal Pradesh: Pre-UDAY – 20 lakh bulbs; Post-UDAY – 27.15 lakh bulbs
- Tamil Nadu: Pre-UDAY – 32.20 lakh bulbs; Post-UDAY – 33.21 lakh bulbs
Key take-away for the country
The programs mentioned above are a short glimpse of an otherwise long list.
It is easy to get caught up in the game of political perceptions based on public rhetoric, but a close look at the facts reveals a silent change for the better, taking shape in the hinterland.
India is changing and changing fast, and for that, someone deserves a pat on the back.