'Grihini Suvidha Yojana' gives new dimension to women empowerment
State government's flagship scheme 'Grihini Suvidha Yojana' has given a new dimension to women empowerment. Within about five months of launch, the scheme has already achieved its target of about 66 percent. Food and Civil Supplies Department had set a target to provide 33,264 LPG connections in the current financial year, whereas as many as 22000 connections have been disbursed till October 16, 2018 to the eligible families. Under the scheme, the department provides LPG cylinder, ISI mark stove, safety pipe and regulator free of cost to the eligible families. So far, the department has received 1,61,207 applications. State Government is spending Rs. 3500 per connection. State Government aims to cover cent percent families of the state with LPG facility during next two years.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur envisioned the scheme as an added mile stone in women empowerment in the state and made a provision of Rs. 12 crore for current fiscal. Accordingly the scheme was launched on May 26, 2018 from Shimla. Rs. 8 crores has been exhausted on providing 22000 connections. Besides empowering the women of the state, the purpose of the scheme is environmental protection also. After getting the LPG connection, women will get rid of the household smoke which has been a major threat of various ailaments. The scheme is covering those families, who were left out under umbrella of 'Ujjwala' scheme of the union government.
Eligibility criteria for the scheme:
Certain conditions have been emphasised to get benefit of the scheme viz: the family should not have any LPG connection, no member of the family should be a government/semi-government, autonomous body, board and corporation employee and pensioner as well. No member of the family shall be income tax payer. Apart from this, no member of the family should be a registered contractor with the government agency. All those families will not be in a position to take advantage of the scheme, which were split after January 1, 2018. However, these families are put in the waiting list.
Selection of the Beneficiaries:
A simple form is to be filled to apply under 'Grihini Suvidha Yojana'. These forms are available in Gram Panchayats also. Apart from this, it can be easily downloaded from the department's website. The selection of the beneficiaries is done by the local bodies. Gas agencies also check de-duplication through their software. After this, LPG connection is given in the name of a woman member of the family. The families having no female member are also provided LPG connections.
Connection to the disaster affected families:
Under the Scheme, the LPG connections are also provided to the families affected by the natural disaster. After natural calamities like flood, cloudburst or fire, the affected families are immediately provided with the facility of LPG cylinder, irrespective of the fact that the family already has connection.
Toll Free Numbers for Complaints:
If the eligible families are facing any inconvenience in availing the benefits of the scheme, they can complain directly to the department. For this, the Food and Civil Supply Department has released Toll Free number 1967. A call centre has been set up to resolve the complaints coming up on this toll free number. Apart from this, Nodal Officer and Joint Director of the Department Ramesh Gangotra, can also be contacted at his office Phone number 0177-262497.
What does the minister say
Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Kishan Kapoor says that Himachal Pradesh is poised to becoming the first state in the country to provide clean, smoke free fuel to each family of the state. Under the guidance of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, 'Grihini Suvidha Yojana' is proving to be very successful. This scheme will become a milestone in the direction of environment protection and women empowerment.