Development Schemes of Special Relevance to Bundelkhand
Among the plethora of government poverty alleviation or
social welfare schemes, a few are of particular relevance to backward regions.
Also of relevance to Bundelkhand is the UP Bundelkhand Vikas Nidhi and
Bundelkhand Development Authority set up in MP.
Apart from the schemes discussed below briefly, districts get
funds from the central and state finance commissions appointed every five years.
While the central commission recommends distribution of revenue between the
Union government and the states, including grants for urban local bodies and
panchayati raj institutions, the state commission recommends devolution of state
funds to panchayati raj institutions.
(Note: All schemes listed below are substantially or fully
funded by the Central government. State government schemes, such as the District
Poverty Initiative Programme in MP, are not listed below. The listing also does
not cover schemes which involve direct cash transfers or other benefits to
individuals, such as old age and widow pension schemes, and the public
distribution system. Environment-related Programmes and the National Rural
Employment Guarantee Scheme, which is the largest source of development funds
for backward regions, are discussed separately).
Integrated Child Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)
ICDS seeks to provide supplementary nutrition, health care
and pre-school education to children below the age of six. The programme also
covers adolescent girls, pregnant women and nursing mothers. ICDS services are
provided through centres known as anganwadis. Under a Supreme Court order of
December 13, 2006, in the Right to Food case, in settlements that have at least
40 children under the age of six and no anganwadi, anganwadis should be set up
within three months of rural communities and slum dwellers making such a demand.
Mid-day Meal Scheme
The Mid-day Meal scheme is the result of a November 28, 2001
order of the Supreme Court in the Right to Food case, directing state
governments to provide cooked mid-day meals in all government and
government-assisted primary schools. The meals should provide at least 300
calories and 8-12 gm of protein to each child, each day of school for a minimum
of 200 days in a year. In drought-affected areas, mid-day meal should be
supplied even during summer vacations.
Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY)
SGSY is meant to promote entrepreneurship among rural poor by
organising them in self help groups (SHGs), and providing income-generating
assets through a mix of bank credit and government subsidy, so that the poor
rise above the poverty line. Loans and subsidies are given both to groups and
individual members ('swarozgaris') of SHGs. Training, establishment of marketing
linkages and infrastructure are also key elements of the scheme. The central
government provides 70% of the funds for implementation of the scheme in a
state; the state government is to provide the rest. Lead banks are responsible
for identification of economic activities and disbursement of credit. At least
40% of swarozgaris are to be women and at least 50% of the beneficiary groups
should be of SC/ST persons.
Indira Awas Yojana (IAY)
IAY provides a grant of up to Rs 20,000 to scheduled caste
and below poverty line (BPL) households for construction of houses, or improving
kaccha dwelling units. Households have to be selected by gram sabhas.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)
SSA aims to provide useful and relevant elementary education
for all children in the 6-14 years age-group, bridging social, regional and
gender gaps, and with the participation of communities in management of schools.
SSA also supports pre-school learning in ICDS and other centres. SSA provides
funds for making the schooling system useful and absorbing; it also supplements
resources for building elementary education infrastructure.
Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC)
TSC is a demand-driven programme that gives a cash incentives
for construction of toilets by poor rural households and baby-friendly toilets
in anganwadis. It also gives a 60% grant for construction of community toilets
and toilets in schools; the rest of the money has to come from the state
government and village communities. TSC provides an 80% grant to NGOs,
panchayats and other agencies for setting up 'rural sanitary marts' or
production centres (PCs) for manufacture and sale of low-cost materials required
for construction of latrines, soakage and compost pits, vermi-composting,
washing platforms, and other rural sanitation and hygiene hardware.
Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP)
ARWSP supplements efforts of state governments to provide
safe drinking water in all rural habitations. Priority should be given to
habitations with 'no safe source' of water, and inhabited largely by SC/ST
groups. Panchayati Raj institutions have to be involved in selecting locations
of supply points, spot sources, operation and maintenance and fixing of water
tariff. The programme has various components, with varying percentage of grants
from the central government.
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)
PMGSY provides 100% funds for constructing all-weather roads
to unconnected habitations in rural areas. The scheme also funds construction of
necessary culverts and drainage structures..
Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF)
BRGF, set up in 2006 under the Union ministry of Panchayati
Raj, provides a good opportunity to identify challenges and opportunities in
backward districts and make realistic plans with involvement of people and
elected representatives up to the district level. Covering 250 districts of the
country, including all districts of Bundelkhand except Jhansi, Datia and Sagar,
the fund has two components: a capacity building component for training elected
members of panchayati raj institutions and an 'untied' development component
that can be used to 'fill critical gaps vital for development by panchayats and
urban local bodies'. These critical gaps have to be identified by people and
their elected representatives,
'Eligible' districts do not automatically get funds under the
scheme. State governments have to first set up district planning committees (DPCs);
funds are transferred to the district directly from the Union Ministry of
Panchayati Raj, on the basis of district development plans drawn by panchayats
and DPCs, and approved by state governments. Many states including UP have been
laggard in forming DPCs. As a result, all 'eligible' districts in UP Bundelkhand
could not get any funds from BRGF in 2007-08.
Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium
UIDSSMT partially helps small and medium towns get over
chronic resource problems. UIDSST provides funds for water supply, sewage and
solid waste management schemes; re-development of old, congested areas and
construction of roads and parking spaces. The central government provides 80%
of the funds for projects apprised by a state-level implementing agency. Some
measures have to be taken to get funds; these include increasing revenue from
property tax and levy of user charges. With such reforms there is also good
scope for private-public partnerships.
Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY)
RKVY, launched in 2007, provides 'additional central
assistance' to Central government and state schemes related to agriculture.
Among the projects funded by RKVY is region-specific agriculture research and
preparation of district agriculture plans, taking into account local needs and
Courtesy : bundelkhandinfo.org