Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi agreed to a proposal mooted by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal when she called on the latter at Kapurthala House here this morning, according to a statement of Punjab government.

During the meeting, the Minister assured Badal that the Centre was ready to fund any scheme, programme aimed at overall development and welfare of women and children in the state and impressed upon him to submit a proposal for setting up "One Stop Crisis Centres" in each district across the state to ensure assistance to women victims of gender crime.

She asked the Chief Minister to send a detailed proposal to her Ministry for the establishment of a network of ITIs across the state for imparting technical and vocational training to women for enabling them to be gainfully employed.

Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot accepted Punjab's pending demand for including the state under the "Prime Minister Adarsh Gram Yojna" scheme, a measure that is expected to benefit Schedule Castes (SCs).

Under the scheme, basic infrastructure like pavements solar street lights, hand pumps, toilets, water supply and sewerage would be provided to SCs.

The demand was taken up by Badal at the meeting with the Minister. He said Punjab has a 32 percent of SC population and of the total 12168 inhabited villages, 2800 villages (23.01%) have 50 percent or more SC population.

Till now, five states with lesser SC population than Punjab were reaping the benefits of this scheme and they are Tamil Nadu with 14.4 pc SC population, Uttar Pradesh (10.07%), Bihar (6.4%), Rajasthan (6.1%) and Assam (4%).


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