SHIMLA-11th June, 2024-Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu reviewed the various schemes and ongoing projects of the Social Justice and Empowerment Department here today. He emphasized the importance of timely completion of the Mukhya Mantri Adarsh Gram Sukhashrya Parisar at Luthan in Kangra district and Sundernagar in Mandi district.

He instructed the departments to commence civil works at Luthan before 20 July with allocated budget of Rs. 132 crores. The facility at Luthan is designed to accommodate 400 inhabitants. He directed to complete the entire project within a fixed timeframe of one and a half years.

The Chief Minister said that the Public Works Department would design and construct Mukhya Mantri Adarsh Gram Sukhashrya Parisar at Sundernagar in district Mandi which would provide facilities to orphans, widows, single women and elderly persons. He directed to ensure quality construction work for both projects to offer world-class facilities to the beneficiaries.

While reviewing the Mukhya Mantri Sukh Ashraya Scheme, the Chief Minister said that a provision up to Rs. 3000 per month would be made for orphans pursuing higher education in case of non-availability of hostel facilities. He instructed the department to focus on providing career counseling to orphaned children, guiding them towards job-oriented courses and to formulate a Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) for this purpose. Additionally, the department would also offer coaching facilities for these children aspiring to pursue professional courses.

Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that under this scheme, every child of an eligible widow or Ekal Nari up to the age of 27 would be entitled to receive monthly stipend of Rs. 1000. Additionally, all eligible children aged 18 to 27 would be offered free education for higher studies. As a part of this scheme, all eligible women would receive free healthcare under the Himcare Scheme, with the State Government covering the premium costs.

The Chief Minister also directed the department to strengthen the Indira Gandhi Matri Shishu Sankalp Yojna, which provides nutritional support to pregnant women, lactating mothers and children up to the age of three. He directed the department to explore the possibility of providing dry fruits instead of cooked khichari to children in Aanganwadi centers to meet their protein requirements. He also emphasized the importance of integrating pre-nursery schools with Aanganwadi centers for better management and improved facilities for the children.

The Chief Minister said that the State Government has increased financial assistance for the construction of house from Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh for widows and single women (Ekal Naris) for which the income criteria would be Rs. 3 lakh per annum.

He also mentioned that a model State-level de-addiction centre would be established at Kotla Barog in the Sirmaur district, with the tender process to be completed by 20 July, 2024. Besides, a Centre of Excellence for the education of Divyangjans (differently-abled individuals) will be constructed at Tikkari in the Kandaghat area of Solan district, providing educational facilities to about 300 multi-disabled students. He also emphasized the need to digitize the department and incorporate modern technology to improve service delivery to beneficiaries.

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr. (Col) Dhani Ram Shandil gave his valuable suggestions during the meeting.

Secretary to Chief Minister Rakesh Kanwar, Secretary Social Justice and Empowerment Ashish Singhmar, Director Women and Child Development Rupali Thakur, Director Empowerment of SCs, OBCs, Minorities and the Specially Abled Department Kiran Bhadana and Engineer-in-Chief, PWD N. K. Singh were also present on the occasion among others.