Women commission head explains how govt schemes reach Assam's women

Priyanka Chakrabarty

Spread the love

Guwahati: As the recently announced Assam and Union budgets have promised a lot for women, Business North East reached out to the Chairperson of the Assam State Women Commission (ASCW) Hemoprova Borthakur to understand how these latest measures are being implemented.

Business Northeast: The Assam government has announced new plans for women in its budget. How is the Women's Commission planning to implement it?

Hemoprova Borthakur: The current budget is very encouraging as it focuses on women’s education. To help poor women, we have to figure out how we can make them financially independent. We have government committees from the district level right down to the block level where the BDO is the chairman. It is their job to ensure that all beneficiaries are getting the promised funds. To address grievances, they can contact the BDO or myself. Nowadays, most women are aware of schemes. Under the BPL scheme, women are getting free rice; Orunodoi, the flagship scheme for women is also there. The majority of the new schemes as well as ration cards are in women's names. The current budget is seeking to uplift women of all sections and they should know how to utilize this money in productive ways.

BNE: How is the Women's Commission creating awareness of schemes meant for women?

HB: We have seven members in our commission including a Vice Chairperson and myself as a Chairperson. Each member is given four districts to look after. From time to time, they will attend block-level meetings where awareness is created. In most districts, block-level committees are present. I have participated in block-level meetings in 30 districts. These meetings create awareness of women-related laws, schemes, and the like. Police are also included. We intend to ensure that these women will not face problems in the future through counselling them.

BNE: What is the Women's Commission doing to help women entrepreneurs in Assam?

HB: We are to take four women entrepreneurs from Assam to participate in the International Women’s Day Sikkim this March. These entrepreneurs will discuss their journey and challenges with others. This is one of many such instances where we have stepped in to help the community.

BNE: Orunodoi 2.0 is adding Transgender under its umbrella. What is your opinion on it? Don’t you think there should be a separate commission for transgender?

HB: If we are given this responsibility, we will take it. Many times, we have undertaken roles that are not specifically for helping biological women. It is because we have a zeal for solving societal problems. I don’t think forming a new transgender commission will help the community. 

BNE: If a woman faces financial fraud, will she be able to approach the commission?

HB: Any cases linked to women are welcome; it may be a financial fraud case as well. We have a free legal aid cell and our own lawyer. Many women are financially weak and might not be able to pay for the case. In such instances, they can apply through an application for legal services from the commission.

BNE: Is the Women's Commission involved with any organization or university?

HB: We do not have any collaboration as such but many students have been brought on board as interns. As far as recruitment is concerned, it is done purely on a merit basis.

ALSO READ: Meghalaya: Spices Board organises meet to promote Northeast's potential

Priyanka Chakrabarty