“Thousand houses have been named after the girl child of the family. The initiative has increased the sacredness of these houses,” said chief minister office (CMO) in a tweet on Thursday. “The initiative taken up by the residents of Shajapur to respect and empower our girl child is laudable,” it added.
What struck the Shajapur administration to launch this initiative was innovative thinking of some officials, who decided to take use of residential units constructed under the PMAY (rural) scheme in different villages to generate awareness about welfare services intended for girls.
Shajapur zila panchayat authorities said that they have converged the PMAY (Rural) scheme with the government’s ‘Beti Bachao – Beti Padhao’ campaign of the government of India, and claimed that the initiative would be the first of its kind in the country.
Chief executive officer of zilla panchayat Misha Singh said that it is already a government mandate to make ownership of a PMAY unit especially in rural areas in the name of a female member of the family.
“This has become more important to give the fair sex its due, and we thought about how to give prominence to girl child, and came out with this idea of naming the houses after the girls,” said Singh while speaking to TOI.
They approached villagers with a girl child in their family through village sarpanchs, and convinced them into naming their houses after their girl child. The CEO pointed out that they used limited funds made available by the ministry of women and child development for the IEC (information, education, communication) activities to get the house cleaned up, beautified and named after the girl child of the respective families.
“We are targeting to cover at least 4000 residential units constructed under PMAY (rural) last year under this initiative,” she added.
Santosh Singh, a resident of Jamner Janpad Panchayat, who has named his house as ‘Monika Niwas’ after his ten-year-old daughter after he was approached by officials, said, “I decided to name my house after my daughter. Both are close to my heart, and I feel proud about naming the house after my daughter.”
Shajapur collector Dinesh Jain said that the administration’s emphasis is on empowerment of women by focusing on their health, education and financial upliftment.
“Many steps are being taken including that putting a check on child marriages, identifying haemoglobin level of the women between 15 to 49 years of age and providing them required nutrition-rich food supplement to eradicate anaemia and also giving them chance to earn their livelihood by educating them about farming and helping getting loans for self-employment,” he said.