Social Welfare Services
Social welfare services are organized to cater to the people who are very poor. These include women and children, aged scheduled castes and tribes.
The Ministry of welfare, Govt. of India has been formed by pooling subjects related to welfare of the disabled, welfare of the scheduled castes and tribes and minorities. Women and child welfare development programme is looked after by a separate department of Women and Child Development set up in the Ministry of Human Resources Development.
1. Welfare of the disabled: The Number of disabled persons in the country has been estimated to be around 2.21% of the total population that is 2.68 Cr. (2016 updated) The Ministry of Welfare is implementing programmes for the early detection, treatment, education and rehabilitation of disabled persons, namely the blind, the deaf, the orthopedically handicapped, spastics, the mentally retarded and the leprosy cured patients.
2. Social defense : Problems of family and social disorganization are manifest in the form of delinquency, juvenile vagrancy, drug addiction, alcoholism and crimes of various types. In order to control these problems, programmes of social defense have been launched by the Government, mainly within the framework of specific legislation and allied measures.
3. Women and child development: The Department of Women and Child Development in the Ministry of Human Resource Development has two sectors : (i) Nutrition and child development, and (ii) Women's welfare and development. The Central Social Welfare Board and the National Institute of Public Co-operation and Child Development assist the Department in its functions.
The Central Social Welfare Board was set up in 1953 which surveys the needs and requirements of social welfare organizations in the country. Social welfare schemes sponsored by the Board are implemented through voluntary agencies such as Mahila Mandals. The Mahila Mandals receive grants up to the extent of 75% for approved activities.
1. Nutrition Programmes : These are feeding programmes to children in the age group 0-6 years, nursing and expectant mothers.
2. ICDS Project: In the fifth year Plan highest priority had been accorded to child welfare programmes. The most important scheme in this field was the Integrated Child Development Services.(ICDS) for children in the age group 0-6 years, nursing and expectant mothers, etc., Under the scheme supplementary nutrition, immunization, health check up, referral services, nutrition and health education and non-formal pre-school education are provided. There are now 5422 ICDS projects operating in the country.
A Child Development Project Officer is in-charge of each ICDS project. An Anganwadi is the focal point for the delivery of services to the community.