Social empowerment refers to the process of building institutional mechanism for capacity and integration of the marginalized section of the society. Or is a multidimensional process aiming at the overall development and the inclusion of section in the mainstream society. It open addresses members of groups who are excluded from this is decision-making process because of social discrimination. For example discrimination based on disability, race, ethnicity, caste, religion or gender etc.
In the constitution, the compensatory theme appears juxtaposed with the theme of formal equality. the provision for compensatory presence appears as expectation within a framework of enforceable fundamental rights which attends to curtail the significance of prescriptive groups and to guarantee equal treatment to the individual. But the attack on discrimination private and public is only facet of the constitutional schemes to secure equality.
The constitution also direct the component of undertaken special measures for the advancement of backward groups. In addition to provisions for reservation in government employment and legislative representation and constitution declared as the DPSP that:-
” the state shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker section of the people and in particular of the schedule caste and the scheduled tribes and solve protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation” (Article 46)
Social Empowerment Has Three Key Components:
- Designing effective services regarding primary requirements like health, education and employment
- Ensuring accessibility and affordability to such public services.
- Ensuring greatest benefit to the services is acquired by vulnerable and disenfranchised section of societ.
Areas which government, civil society and private sector need to focus to bring about social empowerment are as under ( mini education and health will be discussed under this):
Health should be viewed as not merely e the absence of disease but as the state of complete physical coma mental and social well being. The determinants of good health are access to various types of health service and and individuals lifestyle choice personal family and social relationships. In following analysis the identify various bottlenecks that need to be address in order to ameliorate the healthcare services:
- Availability of healthcare services from the public and private sectors taken together is quantitatively inadequate. This is starkly evident from the data on doctors or nurse per lakh of the population.
- Quality of healthcare services varies considerably in both the public and private sector. Many practitioner’s in the private sector are actually not qualified doctors. regulatory standards for public and private hospitals are not adequately defined and, in any case are ineffectively enforced. affordability of healthcare is a serious problem of the vast majority of the population, especially in territory care.
- The problems outlined above are likely to worsen in further. healthcare cost are expected to rise because, with rising life expectancy, a large proportion of our population will become vulnerable to chronic non communicable diseases (NCDs), which typically require expensive treatment. The public awareness of treatment possibilities is also increasing and which in turn, increase the demand for medical care.
In following section we suggest various reforms that can be taken to improve the health sector of India for Social Empowerment:
- Health financing and financial protection: government should increase public expenditure on health from the current level of 1.2 % of GDP to at least 2.5 % by the end of the 12th plan and to at least three percent of GDP by 2022. general taxation should be used as the principal source of healthcare financing, not levying sector specific taxes. Specific purpose transfer should be e introduce to equalize the level of per ca-pita public spending on health across different States.
- Expenditure on primary health care should account for at least 70% of all healthcare expenditure. The technical and the other capacities developed by ministry of labor for the RSBY should be leveraged as the core of UHC operation and transferred to the ministry of health and family welfare.
- Access to Medicine, Vaccine and Technology: price controls and price regulation, especially on essential drugs, should be enforced. The essential drugs list should be revised and expanded and rational use of drugs ensured. Public sector should be strengthened to protect the capacity of domestic drug and vaccine industry to meet national needs. safeguards provided by Indian patents law and the TRIPS agreement against the country’s ability to produce essential drug should be protected. MoHFW should be empowered to strengthen the drug regulatory system.
- Human Resources for Health: institutes of family welfare should be strengthened and regional faculty development centers should be selectively developed to enhance the availability of adequately trained faculty and faculty sharing across institutions. District health knowledge institutes, a dedicated training system for community health workers, State health science universities and the National council for human resource in health (NCHRH) should be established.
- Health Service Norms: National health package should be developed that offers, as a part of entitlement of every citizen, essential health service at different level of the healthcare delivery system. There should be equitable access to health facilities in urban areas by rationalizing services and focusing particularly on the health needs of the urban poor.
- Management and Institutional Reform: all India and state level public health service cadres and a specialized state level health system management cadre should be introduced in order to give greater attention two public health and also strengthen the the management of the the UHC system.
- The establishment of a National health regulatory and development authority ( NHRDA) a, National drug regulatory and development authority ( NDRDA) and a, National health promotion and protection trust ( NHPPT) is also recommended.
- Community Participation and Citizen Engagement: existing village health committees should be transformed into participatory health councils.
- Gender and Health: there is a need to improve access to health service for women, girls and other vulnerable gender ( going beyond maternal and child health)
- Access to Service: barriers to access would be recognize and overcome specially for the disadvantaged and people located far from facilities. Medical and public health facilities would be accessible to the disabled. There would be gender sensitive and child friendly.
- Information on health would be accessible to the visually impaired and to all caregivers; especially to those who look after autistic and mentally challenged person. Hospital would have facilities for the hearing impaired. Among marginalized groups,the SC and ST populations and minorities.
- The doubly disadvantaged such as the particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs), the De- notified and Nomadic Tribes, the Musahars and the internally displaced must be given special attention while making provision for setting up and renovating Sub-Centres and Anganwadis.
- Special services: special services should be made available for the vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. For example, the cancelling of victims of mental trauma in areas of conflict are the supply and fitting of AIDS for the differently abled are some example of special service for certain categories of users. As there are other segments of the population which are also vulnerable, the list should be open-ended.
- Monitoring and evaluation systems: routine monitoring and concurrent impact evaluation should collect dis aggregated information on disadvantaged segments of the population. This is to assess the ease with which they accept services and their impact, as also to understand how they compared to the general population.
Education is one of the most important sector, that need innovation, corporate participation and government expenditure in key areas like teacher training, monitoring etc. to ensure social empowerment. education is the most important lavel for social, economic and political transformation.
A well-educated population, equipped with the relevant knowledge, attitude and skills is essential for economic and social development in the 21st century. Education is the most potent tool for Socio economic mobility and a key instrument for building and equitable and just society. Education provides skills and competencies for economic well being.
Education strengthens democracy by imparting to citizens the tools needed to fully participate in the governance process. Education also acts as an integrative force in society, important value that foster social cohesion and national identity.
Recognizing the importance of education in the national development, twelfth plan places an unprecedented focus on the expansion of education, on significantly improving the quality of education imparted and on ensuring that educational opportunities are available to all segments of the society.
There has been a substantial increase in the availability of teachers and elementary level during the past few years and if all the teacher poster sanctioned under both Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and state budget are filled, the pupil teacher ratio ( PTR) at the national level will almost be 27:1.
despite higher levels of enrollment at the levels of education and a massive increase in physical infrastructure, the value added by formal education is still weak. Poor quality of education resulting in weak learning outcomes at each stage of education is the central challenge facing the Indian education sector today.
This is particularly disturbing since both macro and micro level evidence suggests that what matters for both National economic growth as well as individuals ability to participate in this growth process is not the total years of education as much as the quality of education and value addition for each successive year in school as represented by continuously improving learning outcomes and skills for social empowerment.
Improving learning outcomes is crucial for inclusive growth and social empowerment, therefore, a major focus on the twelfth plan will be on measuring and improving learning outcomes for all children, with a clear recognition that increasing inputs (number of schools, classrooms, teacher and so on) will be themselves not be enough to ensure quality education for all children. Various strengthening steps that can be taken are:
- Ensure universal access and, in keeping with letter and spirit of the RTE act, provide good quality free and compulsory education to all children in the age group of 6 to 14 years;
- Improve attendance and reduce drop out rates at the elementary level to below 10% and lower the percentage of out of school children at the elementary level to below 2% for all Socio-economic and minority groups and in all states;
- Increase enrollments at higher levels of education and raise the Gross Enrollment ratio (GER) at the secondary level to over 90%, at the senior secondary level to over 65%;
- Raise the overall literacy rate to over 80% and reduce the gender gap in literacy to less than 10%;
- Provide at least one year of well supported / well resource preschool education in primary schools to all children, particularly those in educationally backward blocks (EBBs) ; and
- lmprove learning outcomes that are measured, monitored and reported independently at all levels of school education with a special focus on ensuring that all children master basic reading and numeracy skills by class 2 and skills of critical thinking, expression and problem solving by class 5.
The increasing violence against marginalized section of society including SC, ST, minorities, women, children etc even after 60 years of independence do post questions on social empowerment measures by the government. But this should not be considered as manifestation of failure empowerment measures.
Rather it is quite natural when a historically deprived section of society goes for self assertion, the traditional dominant group out of frustration are engage in structured violence such marginalized section. This kind of violence make this group more committed, highly organised and more focused toward their goal of achieving egalitarian society based on justice. This is slowly but gradually bringing silent revolution in Indian society.