Bengal Govt to launch ‘Gender Budgeting’

Bengal Government is soon going to launch ‘gender budgeting’. Speaking at seminar on condition of women in workplace, Dr Shashi Panja, the Minister for Women and Child Welfare, said that the government would soon launch ‘gender budgeting’.

Through this exercise the government would ascertain how many women are benefiting from various women-centric schemes, the number of female government employees, how much money is being spent on women welfare by various departments, among other things.

The data will help the government chart goals for the future and continue to work for the upliftment of women in society.


রাজ্যে চালু হতে চলেছে ‘জেন্ডার বাজেটিং’

রাজ্যে সরকারি চাকরি ও সরকারি প্রকল্প থেকে কত মহিলা উপকৃত হচ্ছেন তা জানতে উদ্যোগী হল রাজ্য সরকার। শনিবার একটি আলোচনাসভায় এই কথা জানান নারী ও শিশুকল্যাণ মন্ত্রী শশী পাঁজা।

তিনি বলেন, রাজ্যের বিভিন্ন দপ্তরে জেন্ডার বাজেটিং এর উদ্যোগ নেওয়া হয়েছে।

কি এই জেন্ডার বাজেটিং? কন্যাশ্রী, বিধবা ভাতা, সবুজ সাথী, স্বনির্ভর যোজনার মত নানা প্রকল্পে কত মহিলা উপকৃত এবং রাজ্যের সরকারি পরিকাঠামোয় কত মহিলা কাজ করছেন, তা জানতেই এই উদ্যোগ। নানা প্রকল্পের লক্ষ্যমাত্রা কতটা পূরণ হয়েছে এবং সেটি পূরণ করতে কি কি প্লানিং দরকার সেটি ঠিক করতে পারবে সরকার।

Kanyashree beneficiaries to get nutritious food till the age of 18

The state government has decided to bring in Kanyashree beneficiaries of six districts under another successful scheme for girls called ‘Sabla’. An idea has been mulled to let girl students get nutritional food even after Class VIII and, at the same time, get empowered by learning life and vocational skills.

It may be mentioned that at present mid-day meal is provided to all students between primary level and Class VIII. Hence, the state government had initiated a process so as to provide nutritional food to girl students, even after they complete Class VIII, till the age of 18.

Sabla is a scheme for adolescent girls in the age group of 11 to 18 years. The girls will simply need to visit the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and the anganwadi centres to get nutritional food.

In addition to getting nutritional food from schools in their mid-day meals till they pass Class VIII, the girls enrolled in the Sabla scheme will also get food with similar nutritional value from ICDS centres till the age of 18 years.

Minister of State for of Health and Family Welfare Dr Shashi Panja said initially the step will be taken in districts including Nadia, Malda, Kolkata, Cooch Behar, Purulia and Jalpaiguri.


Bengal Govt is committed to give quality healthcare to people: Dr Shashi Panja

West Bengal Government will remain committed to the poor masses and will continue to provide quality healthcare to the most needy, said Dr Shashi Panja, Minister of State for of Health & Family Welfare, at a CII Health Meet, on Saturday.

The Minister reiterated the State’s policy of encouraging private capital in the sector to reach top-class healthcare services to the grassroots. “The State Government will be happy to welcome enterprising entrepreneurs to our State to partner us in the growth and development process of. I assure you of our complete cooperation and support,” she said.

“Affordable, accessible, sustainable, high quality essential healthcare – that’s the Government’s vision. The focus is on the poor, mother child and the elderly, and those living in under-served areas,” Dr Panja added.


সবার জন্য স্বাস্থ্য, অঙ্গীকার রাজ্য সরকারের: শশী পাঁজা

পশ্চিমবঙ্গ সরকার দরিদ্র জনসাধারণকে স্বাস্থ্যপরিষেবা প্রদান করবে, শনিবার CII-এর একটি বৈঠকে একথা জানালেন রাজ্যের স্বাস্থ্য ও পরিবার কল্যাণ প্রতিমন্ত্রী ডঃ শশী পাঁজা।

রাজ্যের নীতি হল প্রাইভেট হসপিটালগুলির পুঁজিকে কাজে লাগিয়ে grassroot স্তরের লোকজনের কাছে স্বাস্থ্যপরিষেবা পৌঁছে দেওয়ার।

তিনি বলেন, “বৃদ্ধি এবং উন্নয়ন প্রক্রিয়ায় অংশীদার হওয়ার জন্য সকল উদ্যোগী উদ্যোক্তাদের স্বাগত জানায় রাজ্য সরকার।আমি আপনাদের সবরকম সহযোগিতা ও সমর্থনের আশ্বাস দিচ্ছি”।

ডঃ শশী পাঁজা বলেন, “সাশ্রয়ী মূল্যের, প্রবেশযোগ্য, পর্যাপ্ত ও উচ্চ মানের স্বাস্থ্য পরিষেবা প্রদানই – সরকারের মূল লক্ষ্য। দরিদ্র, মা ও শিশু, বৃদ্ধ, এবং যারা প্রত্যন্ত এলাকার বাসিন্দা তাদের ওপর নজর দেওয়া হবে”।

Kolkata International Children’s Film Festival begins

The Kolkata International Children’s Film Festival (KICFF), to be held from 22 December to 29 December, in which 21 countries will participate and around 180 films will be screened. The inaugural ceremony will be held today at Nandan I.

This is the fifth year that the festival is being organised. To imbue the young film lovers with the spirit of movie making, as a special attraction an exhibition is being organised in the prime venue at Nandan. The exhibition will trace the evolution of the movie camera. In the inaugural ceremony, ministers Amit Mitra, Aroop Biswas and Shashi Panja are expected to be present.

The child artistes of Marathi film Killa are also expected to come for the inaugural ceremony along with the director, Avinash Arun. Killa, which revolves around an 11-year-old child undergoing a difficult time coping with the death of his father, has been chosen as the inaugural film for this year’s festival.

This year, the festival will pay homage to two of the most versatile geniuses in the film world, Robin Williams and Buster Keaton. To make the festival more engaging the organisers have thrown in workshops and a competitive quiz.

Another exhibition titled Dakche Dekho Daktickit (a collection of classic stamps) will be organised and a special anthology to commemorate 125 years of Stan Laurel will be launched. Pappu ki Pugdandi has been chosen as the closing film of the festival.

Bengal Minister seeks separate toilets for transgenders

Minister for women and child development and social welfare, Dr Shashi Panja, said on Wednesday that transgender persons deserve to have separate public toilets.

“They deserve separate toilets, which unfortunately are not there. Just imagine the difficulties faced by them. They are human (beings) too,” Panja said while addressing the 8th CII Corporate Social Responsibility Meet, 2015 here.

She also appealed to the corporate houses to earmark a part of their CSR funds for setting up separate toilets for the transgender.

As per state government figures, the number of transgender persons in West Bengal is 30,349. The issue of the community’s welfare is being discussed in Bengal since the state government has set up a transgender development board.

Also, with Manabi Mukhopadhyay becoming the first transgender principal of any college has given an impetus to the transgender development movement in the state.
“The government alone cannot do everything. Please come forward and help us achieve our social goals,” Dr Panja said.

Dr Panja also spoke of the need for quality education and vocational training at anganwadi centres where children need good teachers and mentors.

“All you are required to do is approach the urban development department for land,” she said in her appeal to the corporate houses.

Earlier, the state government had asked the Kolkata Police to begin recruitment of transgenders into the Civic Police Volunteer Force. The move was seen as a way to end the “stigma” and “discrimination” against the community.

Toll-free helpline for senior citizens in Bengal soon

A toll-free helpline will soon be introduced by the West Bengal government to provide assistance to senior citizens on the issues of health, legal and security.

“Senior citizens will be able to communicate using this toll-free number when they need any assistance be it on health issues or when there is any robbery at their houses,” state Women and Child Welfare Minister Shashi Panja said.

“There are several senior citizens who are not getting their pension on time…We have to look into that. We are also considering if senior citizens can be given any subsidy in ration or whether there can be a separate counter for them at hospitals or at places where they need to visit every month,” the minister said.

Stating that the state government is also planning to conduct counselling sessions for the elderly people to take care of their mental fitness. The state was also mulling over making legal assistance free for the community if needed, she said.

“The government is also thinking of training persons on Geriatric Care Management on whom the elderly persons can rely,” she said.

“We have prepared a draft on the entire matter and are waiting to send it to the Cabinet for its green signal,” she said.

‘1000 Days’ campaign launched for mother, child care in West Bengal

West Bengal Department of Child Development and Social Welfare and UNICEF today launched ‘1000 Days’ campaign to reach out to every mother and child across the state for their healthier and prosperous future.

“The 1000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday offer an unique window of opportunity to shape healthier and more prosperous future. The right nutrition and care during this period can have a profound impact on a child’s ability to grow, learn and rise out of poverty,” state Women and Child Welfare minister, Shashi Panja said.

The campaign, which will be carried out for the next 12 months with a budget of Rs 1,474 crore to be funded by both the centre and the state, would be taken to every block in the state.

It would engage a large network of NGOs, institutions and community mobilisers to reach out to young mothers, the minister said.

West Bengal govt plans to enroll transgenders in civic police volunteer force

If things fall in line, members of transgender community would soon be seen donning the uniform as civic volunteers assisting the Kolkata Police in wide range of duties.

The West Bengal government has requested the Kolkata Police to recruit transgenders in the Civic Police Volunteer Force (CPVC) to end the “stigma” and “discrimination” against the community.

State minister for women and child development, Shashi Panja said she had spoken to the Kolkata Police commissioner suggesting the idea soon after it was brought up during a meeting of the West Bengal Transgender Development Board.

“The prime issue that we face is that people don’t have respect for the transgender community. But if they are incorporated as volunteers in the civic police force, then it will gradually allow people to imagine them in different roles,” she said.

The state women and child development and social welfare department has recommended that the Kolkata Police begin taking volunteers from the community and after the requisite training, indoctrinate them into the CPVC.

The state government had set up the Transgender Welfare Board in July 2014.

UNICEF and WB Govt to jointly work for adolescent kids

The United Nations Children’s Educational Fund or UNICEF and West Bengal Government will jointly launch a programme for the welfare of kids attaining puberty.

With an aim of making Kolkata more hospitable for adolescents, a meeting was organised by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation in the presence of representatives of UNICEF, State Women and Child Welfare Minister Dr Shashi Panja, Mayor Sovan Chatterjee and other officials.

West Bengal Government, UNICEF and KMC will jointly work for the adolescent kids in slum areas with a focus on children who have dropped out of school or fell prey to trafficking. A pilot project will be launched in Ward No. 26 of KMC area.

Awareness drives for Bengal government’s flagship schemes like Kanyashree and Shishu Sathi will also be conducted. Government will conduct surveys to ensure common people are getting benefits of the schemes, the Minister said.

Chief Field Office of UNICEF in West Bengal, Ashadur Rahman feels that the impact of Kanyashree has been huge at the grassroots. He suggested that Bengal’s successful ‘Kanyashree’ scheme for the empowerment of girl child should be followed as an example by rest of the states in India.


Bengal Govt observes National Nutrition Week

To enhance community-based initiatives in educating mothers and caregivers on nutrition issues, the West Bengal government is observing National Nutrition Week till next Monday.

“We are carrying out a series of convergent and well-coordinated activities in different sectors in a mission mode to address the issues which may lead to under-nutrition, especially in the socially and economically backward communities,” state Women and Child Welfare Minister Dr Shashi Panja said.

The state government has mobilised their state-wide network of ICDS centres and frontline functionaries to reach out to the maximum number of people at the community level.

Child rights body UNICEF has also been working closely with the state.

UNICEF officials said nutrition is not confined to food only, rather refers to an interplay of health and immunisation, environmental and personal hygiene and sanitation, in addition to age appropriate nutritionally dense food and feeding practices.

“Nutrition is an issue of survival, health and development for current and succeeding generations. Children born underweight may have impaired immune function, increased risk of diseases, low learning abilities due to impaired cognitive ability, thus affecting their school performance and then productivity in their later life,” Panja said.

National Nutrition Week is celebrated annually from September 1 to 7.

Across all districts, activities like community-level nutrition and health promotion camps, community sensitisation sessions, cooking demonstration and recipe competition quiz shows, etc are being carried out.