RTI stimulates action for women empowerment project 4 years after its launch
Following Sachar Committee recommendation, the union ministry of minority affairs had launched Nai Roshni welfare scheme in 2009 to empower women belonging to minority communities including Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Parsis.
The scheme sought to make the minority women efficient in interacting with government systems like banks and other institutions through knowledge, tools and techniques. Funds worth Rs. 23 crore were also earmarked for the scheme targeting to benefit 40,000 women in its first phase though no money was spent on the implementation of the scheme till June 2013.
An application was filed with the ministry of minority affairs under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get information about the initiatives taken by the government to implement Sachar Committee recommendations including the schemes launched, funds allocated and spent and the beneficiaries. Through the RTI reply by the ministry, the applicant came to know about the ‘Nai Roshni’ scheme and then wrote to the prime minister and the minority affairs minister seeking answers about the scheme.
The applicant, Saleem Baig from Moradabad, said that though he didn’t get any replies, the government did initiate action on the scheme following his queries. The government made an appraisal of the scheme through standing finance committee and has invited proposals for conducting training programmes for minority women.