The Central government of India has completed seven years over two tenures. During these years, there are several achievements to the government’s credit. The biggest of them would be penetration of banking among citizens, digitization, and a series of direct benefit/cash transfer schemes.
Various schemes have been launched in the past 7 years for the upliftment of the poor broadly focusing upon comprehensive development which includes social development, cultural development, and economic development which the previous governments have failed to implement on the ground.
Ayushman Bharat: World’s largest free healthcare scheme
Ayushman Bharat is a flagship scheme of the Government of India, which was launched to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). This initiative has been designed to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its commitment, which is to “leave no one behind.”
It provides a cover of up to Rs 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. Over 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families (about 53 crore beneficiaries) are eligible for these benefits. The scheme provides cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiaries at the point of service.
About Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana -Gramin
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Gramin was launched to address the housing gaps existing in the rural areas. The houses built under the PMAYG scheme are low-cost and disaster-resilient. The Government also provides financial assistance to those who are homeless or living in kaccha houses. So far, 1.26 crore houses have already been built across the country under the scheme.
Ujjwala scheme and Saubhagya scheme
Ujjwala scheme aims to benefit 5 crore families especially the women living below the poverty line. By providing free gas connections and electricity connections under the Saubhagya scheme, to crores of poor, now their dependence on wood has greatly reduced. Apart from reducing pollution, it has also helped a lot in improving health and strengthening environmental protection. Under Ujjwala, cash assistance of ₹1,600 is given to each beneficiary to get a deposit-free new connection. Till now, 80 million poor families have been benefitted by availing free cooking gas connections.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Clean India Mission is a country-wide campaign initiated by the Government of India in 2014 to eliminate open defecation and improve solid waste management. The problem of open defecation and contamination of drinking and bathing water in India prompted the government to take measures to deal with the problem and improve the health conditions of the poor people. Since October 2014, over 9.5 crore toilets have been built all over the country and 564,658 villages have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana was launched in 2014 to ensure comprehensive financial inclusion of all the households in the country by providing universal access to banking facilities with at least one basic bank account to every household for financial literacy, access to credit, insurance, and pension facility. Under this, a person not having a savings account can open an account without the requirement of any minimum balance. 41.94 crore accounts have been opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.
Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana
The scheme was launched in 2015. Under the scheme a loan of up to Rs. 50,000 is given under sub-scheme ‘Shishu’; between Rs. 50,000 to 5.0 Lakhs under sub-scheme ‘Kishore’; and between 5 Lakhs to 10 Lakhs under sub-scheme ‘Tarun’. Loans taken do not require collateral. Under this, a common man can expand his small business or can become financially independent to become first-generation entrepreneurs. PMMY has helped in generating 1.12 crore net additional employment from 2015 to 2018.
Jal Jeevan Mission
To improve the lives of people Jal Jeevan Mission has been implemented with speed so that every household has the provision of assured tap water supply by 2024. In this period, in the whole country, about 4.25 Crore households have been provided tap water connections, thus increasing coverage by 22% to presently 7.50 Crore i.e. 39% of the total rural households in the country. This has also created new employment opportunities in villages boosting the rural economy.
Last year the central government announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore economic package that aims to provide relief to 80 crore poor, migrant workers, and other Indians who have been economically hurt by the lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. These 80 crore people, including farmers, migrant laborers, construction workers, women, the specially-abled, and the old, are covered under various existing schemes of the central government.
Removal of poverty is one of the biggest challenges in India and the implementation of these social protection programmes has helped reduce poverty significantly in these past 7 years.