Over 69% of houses constructed under the Prime Ministers’ special housing scheme are either wholly or jointly owned by women in rural areas.
According to the data shared by the government, as on September 29, 2022, a total of two crore houses had been constructed out of the 2.46 crore houses that were sanctioned. Of this, 69% are owned partly or completely by women.
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) was launched by the Prime Minister in 2016 with the aim of constructing 2.95 crore houses.
A senior official in the Ministry of Women and Child Development said that it had been the government’s endeavour to ensure women get a fair share of government schemes under Nari Shakti initiative.
The idea behind the initiative is to have “women-led” development instead of “development of women”.
“By providing houses under the PMAY–G, the government has fulfilled the aspirations of women of owning a pucca house and strengthened their participation in the financial decision making of the household. Living in a pucca house with basic amenities gives security, dignity and basic amenities economic power and uplifts their social inclusion,” he said.
According to the government, another initiative which has helped safeguard the health of women and children was ensuring supply of clean cooking fuel under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
Over 9.4 crore LPG connections have been released under the Ujjwala Yojana. This scheme also received global recognition from International Energy Agency, which has described it as a major achievement in improving the environment and health of women, it said.
Another scheme that has helped women gain dignity and security is the Swachh Bharat Mission under which 11.5 crore toilets were constructed in the rural areas and 70 lakh were built in the urban areas.
The government quoted a report, “Access to toilets and the safety, convenience and self-respect of women in rural India”, to claim that after the construction of toilets, 93% of women reported that they were no longer afraid of being hurt by someone or harmed by animals while defecating; 93% of women reported they are no longer afraid of contracting health infections; 92% of women said they were no longer afraid of going to the toilet in the dark of night.