If the Women and Child Development ministry have its way, women in government offices may soon spend their spare time in office with their toddlers. The ministry has urged all government departments to provide at least one crèche service for the children of the women working in their offices.
WCD secretary Deepa Jain Singh has asked secretaries of all Central government departments to access the number of women who needs the support of crèche facilities for young children. Once the situation is accessed, she added, that the facilities should be provided soon.
Singh wants government departments to take a lead in providing support facilities for working women, believing that it can act as an eye opener for private institutions to provide similar service. She underlines the importance of crèches by pointing at quick societal changes where more women are joining work to supplement household income and concept of joint families is falling apart. “In such scenario working women needs support in terms of quality care of their young children while they are at work,” she said.
Backing her proposal with recommendation of National Common Minimum programme (NCMP), Singh said, the issue of inadequate crèches have been discussed at various forums and there are legislations for improving childcare services. Therefore, she emphasised on the need for opening more crèches in urban areas and the lead, she has suggested, the government departments should take.
The WCD ministry has funds crèches through Rajiv Gandhi Creche Scheme but most of them are opened for women working in unorganised sector. “Unlike west, India is yet to develop crèche culture in mothers’ offices,” a WCD official said, adding that the government can always take initiative in this direction.