Consistent efforts made by the state government have helped to improve social indicators in the state remarkably, and it has also been mentioned in the World Bank report.
A spokesperson of the state government said here on Tuesday that as per the World Bank report, Himachal Pradesh has successfully reduced the incidence of poverty regardless of gender and caste, both in the rural and the urban areas, which reflects the commitment of the government for overall development of the state and welfare of the common man.
The poverty levels in the state have declined from 36.8% in 1993 to 8.5%, a four-fold decline, and the state has performed better than any other state in the country, he added.
He said the state government was also committed for the welfare of women and children and had increased the financial assistance to Rs 5,000 from Rs 2,500 under the scheme of self-employment for women with annual family income up to Rs 35,000 per annum for starting small businesses.
To improve the sex ratio particularly in areas of the state bordering Punjab, the state government has decided to constitute a ‘system of tracking pregnancy’ under the vigil of anganwari workers, accredited social health activists (ASHA) and village-level monitoring support committees besides enforcing the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act strictly, said the spokesperson.
He said massive campaigns were being launched to bring about a change in the mind-set of the people towards the girl child. To create a positive attitude, the state government has decided that the girls belonging to families having upto two daughters without any male issue would be given preference in appointment as anganwari workers and helpers, he added.
The state government has enhanced the scholarship per girl child from Classes 1 to 12 under the Beti Hai Anmol Yojana by 50 %.
He said that free medical facilities were being provided to all girl children upto the age of 6 years. Under Indira Gandhi Balika Suraksha Yojana, couples adopting permanent family planning after single girl child were getting enhanced incentives of Rs 35,000 and couples adopting permanent family planning after 2 girls were getting enhanced incentives of Rs 25,000.
He said the state government had also decided to support further studies of girls in government institutions even after they leave home.
He further disclosed that Rs 371 crore were being spent on the development of women and children in the current financial year.