Indore: “What government says is development and what people say is akin to going against the party in power. This mindset of government has to change,” a lady doctor working at government hospital in city told Free Press when asked what her expectations were from state government and what she got. Revealing the ground reality, she continued, “Government’s commitment towards effective implementation of any welfare scheme is confined to budget allocation.
It depends on what the next budget offers for welfare schemes.” Whether it is possible for government to meet all the key aspirations of women, who are about 50 percent of the total voters in the state, is a matter of in-depth survey. What is apparent is women are determined to move ahead in their chosen fields no matter what the obstacles are. Free Press talked to women about their expectations from state government. Excerpts
MUSLIMS FEAR SEEKING GOVT HELP
Muslims fear that they will not be heard, their problems will not get solved at any level by government. That is why they avoid approaching government to get their work done. This has been my observation. Most men in my family are into business. Demonetisation has hurt our businesses badly. We are still trying to recover from losses. Another point. Green Park Colony near Sirpur tank is illegal but densely populated. It is one the dirtiest localities in Indore. I couldn’t take a house on rent there because of filth.
GOVT INACTION IS ANNOYING
I expected government to pay attention to women’s safety. The fact that it has failed on this count is annoying. Laws for women’s safety are not satisfying either. Moreover, it is difficult to get loans for women entrepreneurs specially those who run business at a small scale. Banks, financial institutions avoid giving loans to women for small businesses. This discourages them and they look for jobs instead of becoming entrepreneurs. This adversely affects their financial progress, economic empowerment and overall wellbeing of their family.
INFORMATION DOESN’T REACH WOMEN IN VILLAGES
A common expectation is that information of government welfare schemes specially those meant for women living in rural areas should reach on time so they can benefit. But this doesn’t happen. The information comes late. Then, there is problem in getting loans under the scheme. Even if women get loan, their training is delayed for weeks. By the time women start business, a new scheme is launched for them. This is dejecting.
NO SINGLE WINDOW FOR WOMEN
Women who wanted to start their businesses had great expectations from state government. They thought that self-employment will receive a push but that has not happened. There is no single window for women where they can take information about businesses they can start with help of government, where they can be helped to get loans and where they are can get information about offline, online markets to sell their products. All this is discouraging.