New Delhi. - Women in India struggle with various issues threatening their well-being and the path to equality. There is lack of access to education, discrimination in the work place, gender based violence, to name a few. Governmental policies and schemes aim to address these issues through various financial and skills building measures. However, up-to-date information about these schemes is often difficult to obtain. For social workers and community workers it becomes a complicated and time consuming task to figure out what girls and women are entitled to. Therefore the Indian women´s rights organization Centre for Social Research (CSR) in Delhi introduced the Welfare Schemes app #SoSec.
The Delhi Government has a number of schemes which aim to address different welfare needs of women and girls through their life cycles. In order for such schemes to be effective they need to be available and accessible.
"Clearer information needs to be provided and the costs of accessing it need to be lowered" said Ms. Ena Singh, Assistant Representative of United National Population Fund (UNPFA). Facilitating access to the schemes for women and girls is a crucial step in making a change towards gender equality.
INTERNET ACCESS IS A TOOL FOR EMPOWERMENT
More and more women in India have mobile phones with internet access, which can serve as empowerment tool.
For this reason CSR developed the Welfare Scheme App #SoSec to bridge the gap between providers and users of welfare. The app, now available on Android, provides clear information on the benefits, eligibility and time frames of the different schemes. Additionally it guides women and girls through the application process by informing them which documents they need in order to apply for the respective schemes.
"With the ever changing environment of welfare schemes in India, it’s a mammoth task to stay updated, #SoSec serves as a solution, with updated information for beneficiaries and access providers including government officials, social workers and citizens who want to help out", said Amitabh Kumar from CSR.
On 24 July 2015 a delegation of CSR visited the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) to discuss a partnership between the Ministry and CSR for the further development of the welfare schemes app project #SoSec.