Ministry: Ministry of Women and Child Development
It is the duty of the state to ensure protection from exploitation and to support the survival and rehabilitation of women as per the Directive principle of state policy, Article 38(1).
Scheme for Short Stay Home for women and girls was introduced as a social defense mechanism, by the department of Social Welfare in 1969. The scheme is meant to provide temporary accommodation, maintenance and rehabilitative services to women and girls rendered homeless due to family discord, crime, violence, mental stress, social ostracism or are being forced into prostitution and are in moral danger.
Swadhar –A Scheme for Women in Difficult Circumstances was launched by the Department of Women and Child Development in 2001- 02. The scheme through the provisions of shelter, food, clothing, counseling, training, clinical and legal aid aims to rehabilitate such women in difficult circumstance.
Centre for Market Research and Social Development, New Delhi conducted an evaluation in 2007 to assess the performance of both the schemes. The evaluation report while citing the effectiveness and positive impact of measures adopted under the schemes for counseling and rehabilitation found that both the above said schemes are almost similar in scope and procedure and thus recommended merger of both the schemes.
Ministry of Women and Child development thus proposed Swadhar Greh Yojana which would target the women victims of unfortunate circumstances who are in need of institutional support for rehabilitation so that they could lead their life with dignity.
Swadhar Greh will be set up in every district with capacity of 30 women with the following objectives:
To cater to the primary need of shelter, food, clothing, medical treatment and care of the women in distress and who are without any social and economic support.
To enable them to regain their emotional strength that gets hampered due to their encounter with unfortunate circumstances.
To provide them with legal aid and guidance to enable them to take steps for their readjustment in family/society.
To rehabilitate them economically and emotionally.
To act as a support system that understands and meets various requirements of women in distress.
To enable them to start their life afresh with dignity and conviction.
Note: In districts with more than 40 lakh population or those districts where there is a need for additional support to the women, more than one Swadhar Greh could be established. The capacity of Swadhar Greh could be expanded up to 50 or 100 on the basis of need assessment and other important parameters.
Women who are deserted and are without any social and economic support;
Women survivors of natural disasters who have been rendered homeless and are without any social and economic support;
Women prisoners released from jail and are without family, social and economic support;
Women victims of domestic violence, family tension or discord, who are made to leave their homes without any means of subsistence and have no special protection from exploitation and/ or facing litigation on account of marital disputes; and
Trafficked women/girls rescued or runaway from brothels or other places where they face exploitation and Women affected by HIV/AIDS who do not have any social or economic support. However such women/ girls should first seek assistance under UJJAWALA Scheme in areas where it is in operation.
Note: Maximum period of stay is 3 years.The older women above the 55 years of age may be accommodated for maximum period of 5 years after which they will have to shift to old age homes or similar institutions.