State Level Schemes for the Underprivileged in Jammu & Kashmir by Farheen Nahvi

Region: J&K

Name: Financing Schemes for Economic Upliftment of Weaker Sections
Scheme Ownership: Labour & Employment Department
Description: The J&K SC, ST and BC Development Corporation undertakes a wide range of activities for socio-economic upliftment of the weaker section of the society.
Eligibility criterion: Permanent residents of J&K
To receive benefits: Contact the department of Employment, Jammu & Kashmir

Name: Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (Country-wide)
Description: To generate employment opportunities in rural as well as urban areas of the country through setting up of new self-employment ventures/projects/micro enterprises.
Eligibility criterion: Any individual, above 18 years of age
To receive benefits contact: i) Field Offices of Khadi & Village Industries Commission, and its State offices; ii) State Khadi and Village Industries Boards. iii) District Industries Centre (DIC) of all State Governments/Union Territories Administrations

Covid-19 schemes undertaken in March:

-Overdraft facility in Jan-Ohan Accounts:
There are 22.10 lakh Jan Ohan Accounts in J&K, out
of which 16.05 lakh accounts are with J&K Bank and rest are
with accounts with other banks. Jan-Ohan Accounts have a built
in facility for overdraft which is granted on individual requests.
Banks were requested to allow this facility to needy persons in the period of initial lockdown.

-There are a total of 3.50 lakh workers registered with
Building & Other Construction Workers Welfare Board. An
assistance of Rs.1000/- per worker costing around Rs.36 crore
may be released to registered workers.

-Disaster Management Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction:
Rs.45 crore were released for the purpose of covering
cost of quarantine, cluster containment operation, food, lodging
etc. for management of COVID-19 under Disaster Response Fund.

-Women in 83 million families below poverty line covered under Ujwala scheme were set to receive free LPG cylinders for 3 months.

-State governments were directed to use the District Mineral fund for building and construction workers.

While the effectiveness of Covid-19 schemes is yet to be evaluated, centrally sponsored schemes have longer observation periods and give room for judgment regarding their effectiveness. All of the schemes, and many more not mentioned here, are undertaken with a view to alleviating the situation of poverty, which is both a cause and consequence of child labour. Preliminary research has suggested minimal betterment in the focus areas of these schemes, for example in the case of J&K, the Indira Awass Yojana for the development of proper housing for people living BPL yielded favourable results (however this data is over 10 years old). The existence of schemes speaks nothing of their effectiveness, and only a deeper study into each scheme since its conception will lead to a better understanding of what they lack and solutions thereof.

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