Widowhood in India (Challenges, Government Initiatives) | UPSC Notes

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WIDOWHOOD IN INDIA upsc
  • As per 2011 census — 5.6 crore widowed person in India. Women > Men — accounting for more than 78% of total.
  • Reason for feminisation of widowhood —
    • Women experience greater longevity than men. Women – 69.6 years | Men – 67.3 years
    • Societal factor — wives are generally younger than their husbands.
  • Age wise distribution
    • Child widows — 10-19 years → 0.45%
    • 20-39 years → 9%
    • 40-59 years → 32%
    • 60+ years → 58%
  • Challenges and ways to counter WIDOWHOOD IN INDIA
    • Loss of adolescence, access to employment, skill development
    • Property rights (as property is generally in the name of Husband)
    • Shelter
    • Access to healthcare.
    • Effective implementation of Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007
    • Universal coverage of pension for widows — increase sustenance and respectability of widows
    • Encourage and incentivise couple to include name of wide into the tile of her husband’s land and property
    • Need to provide age relaxation for women to sit for competitive exams for government and PSU jobs — esp for widows of Defence Personnels
  • As per Census — we still have about 2 lakh child widows despite having Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006
  • However the attitude of the society towards the widows is changing
  • But there are certain pockets in the country — where the condition of widows is pathetic still.
  • There is little understanding of the problems they face and the general schemes are not enough to cater their problem and improve their economic condition.
  • Government Initiatives —
    • Many State government have formulated — widow remarriage schemes
    • Under MNREGA — special provision have been made to identify widowed women who can then qualify as a household so that they are provided 100 days of work
    • Union Ministry of WCD — emphasis on issues related to widows for last 2-3 years
    • Mathura has major shelter homes for Widows — in Vrindavan
      • New shelter home for widows — in Vrindavan, Mathura — 1000 widows.
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