As per 2001 Census for which information is available, there were 3.43 crore widows in the country. The Government has been implementing several schemes/ programmes for the welfare of women including widows, such as:
(i) Swadhar and Short Stay Homes for relief and rehabilitation of women in difficult circumstances.
(ii) Support for Training & Employment Programme (STEP) under which skill upgradation training is provided to assetless and below poverty line women.
(iii) Scheme of Working Women Hostel under which assistance is provided for the construction/expansion/ renting of hostel building with the objective of providing safe accommodation to single working women who are unmarried, widowed, divorced or separated as well as to the married women whose husband or immediate family does not reside in the same area.
(iv) Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS) under which pension is provided to the widow in the age group of 40-64 years who is living below poverty line.
(v) Integrated Programme for Older Persons under which financial assistance is given to voluntary organizations for running and maintenance of old age homes, mobile medical units etc. for the destitute senior citizens and for setting up of Multi Facility Care Centre for Older Widow Women to provide full time shelter, care, training in income generating activities, conduct of religious programmes, yoga etc. to older widows.
The Government has been implementing a number of schemes for the welfare and protection of children viz Integrated Child Development Services Scheme, Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme for Children of Working Mothers, Integrated Child Protection Scheme, Scheme for Welfare of Working Children in Need of Care and Protection and the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (SABLA).
A Scheme for construction/ expansion of hostel buildings for working women has been under implementation since 1972-73, for providing safe accommodation to single working women who are unmarried, widowed, divorced or separated as well as to the married women whose husband or immediate family does not reside in the same area.
The Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008 enables provision of social security measures for unorganised workers including domestic workers. The Central Government has requested the State Governments for inclusion of ‘domestic worker’ as a scheduled employment under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and to fix minimum rates of wages for them in their respective States. Further, eligible women domestic workers can avail benefits under various welfare schemes being implemented by the Government.