Shimla April 03, 2008:Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister said that the State Government would evolve suitable policy to issue separate ration cards and provide free medical treatment in the Government hospitals after observing all codal formalities to ascertain their eligibility. He was addressing a massive rally of the ‘Himachal Ekal" Nari Shakti Sangathan’ assembled outside the HP Vidhan Sabha complex from all over the State, here today.
Chief Minister said that the State Government was live to the social and economic problems of the widows and had been initiating effective steps to deliver them justice, social and economic security. He said that it was during his earlier term that the social security pension was increased from Rs. 100 to Rs. 200, which on returning to power for the second time was further enhanced to Rs. 300 per month to be paid from January1, 2008. He said that the State Government was spending Rs. 60 crore over the social security pensions annually. He said that 2,37,250 widows, old age and handicapped were being provided social security cover and the fresh cases were also being scrutinized for final decision on priority so that fresh eligible candidates were also provided pensionary benefits. He said that the pending cases of eligible widows would be cleared on priority. He added that the State Government was also providing cash award to the person marrying widows to help them lead socially a secure life.
Prof. Dhumal said that the State Government would consider issuance of separate ration cards to single widows after ascertaining their eligibility by the competent authority. He said that the ration card would be a valid document to ascertain the eligibility to draw various benefits under various social welfare programmes. He said that all-out efforts would be made to provide poor and deserving widows free medical treatment in the Government hospitals for which necessary modalities would be chalked out at appropriate level. He said that the State Government was already providing free medical treatment to the members of IRDP families besides considering the cases of other deserving people sympathetically.
Chief Minister assured the tribal single women that Himachal Pradesh would be the first State to implement the Right to Property Act it amended suitably by the Union Government to provide equal right in the property to the tribal women of the State. He said that the enactment of the law was within the jurisdiction of the Union Government being Central subject and the State would be willingly ready to implement the same if amended accordingly. He assured the organization that the State Government would be making all out efforts to protect the interests of the women and provide them security to life and property.
Smt. Nirmala Chandel, State Coordinator of the organization, apprised the Chief Minister of demands of the widows, divorcees and destitute and urged for liberal help to lead a safe and secure life in the society.
Shri Narender Bragta, Horticulture Minister, Smt. Sarveen Chaudhary, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Members of the Legislative Assembly and senuior officers of the State Government, Smt. Leela Padyatra Coordinator, Smt. Kanta Sharma and Ms. Shichi Angmo, Organizing Members were present among others.