|2nd Five Year Plan||
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The growth of social services is necessarily a slow process. Its principal limitations relate to the financial resources available and resources which can be spared for social services, lack of trained personnel and of organisations devoted to social welfare and lack of reliable data pertaining to social problems. These factors tend to limit the immediate objects of social welfare services to groups which are in a vulnerable position or need special assistance. The aims of social welfare are, however, wider in scope. Social Welfare is concerned with the well-being of the entire community, not only of particular sections of the population which may be handicapped in one way or another. Problems which have already come to the fore must no doubt claim attention; equally, it is necessary to take steps to prevent the occurrence of new problems.
2. In the field of social welfare, personnel provided by the Government or by public authorities generally represent only a nucleus for drawing into the service of the community the voluntary labours of large numbers of private individuals. In the past voluntary agencies depended entirely on donations from private persons. In the larger interest of the community these voluntary agencies have to be encouraged and assisted in extending the scope of their activities. The Central and State Governments and local authorities should therefore readily supplement private efforts in this direction. Eventually, the burden of maintaining social services has to fall in the main on local authorities. In the initial stages, however, special agencies are needed to provide the necessary impulse for the organisation of social welfare services and to bring about a measure of coordination between the efforts of public authorities and of voluntary organisations.
3. A comprehensive social welfare programme would include, for instance, social legislation, welfare of women and children, family welfare, youth welfare, physical and mental fitness, crime and correctional administration and welfare of the physically and mentally handicapped. It would also include in the special circumstances and background of India, a programme for fulfilling the objective of Prohibition. In this chapter developments in the field of
social welfare services, including Prohibition, which have taken place during the period of the first five year plan and those projected for the second plan are briefly outlined.
SCHEMES OF THE CENTRAAL SOCIAL WELFARE BOARD
As part of the first five year plan the Central Government set up a Central Social Welfare Board with the object especially of assisting voluntary agencies in organising welfare programmes for women and children and the handicapped groups. The Board has, in turn, in collaboration with State Governments, organised State Social Welfare Boards throughout the country. The building up of this organisational net work makes it possible to embark upon larger programmes of social welfare in the second five year plan. Already, during the past three years the foundations for these programmes have been laid. The Central Social Welfare Board has assisted 2128 institutionsof which 660 are women welfare institutions, 591 child welfare institutions, 151 institutions serving handicapped persons and delinquents and 726 institutions engaged in general welfare work. The grants given by the Board are intended to assist existing voluntary organisations in consolidating their activities. In'the case of newly established voluntary organisations grants are given for enabling them to start their work on sound lines. The general object is to assist the establishment of voluntary institutions in all parts of the country. The Central Social Welfare Board has also taken up welfare extension projects, one in each district in the country, each project serving a group of about 25 villages. During the second five year plan the Board has a programme of setting up three more welfare extension projects in each district. By the beginning of 1956 the Board had established 291 welfare extension projects. During the second five year plan a programme for increasing the number of projects to 1320, so as to provide four projects to each district, is to be completed. When this programme is completed a total of 50,000 villages will have been provided with specially organised welfare services for women and children. It is proposed to establish about one-third of the new projects in each of the first three years oftlie plan period. In each district the projects are placed under an implementing committee, a majority of whose members are local women welfare workers. To meet the requirements of welfare extension projects, the Central Social Welfare Board has organised extensive training programmes for women village level workers and for midwives. The Board has also made a beginning in Delhi, Poona, Hyderabad and Vijayawada in tackling the difficult task of providing work for women in their homes. For this purpose three match factories have been established and setting up of additional factories with the assistance of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is under consideration.
5. Two Advisory Committees set up by the Board have also made proposals for social and moral hygiene and provision of after-care services. These envisage the establishment of a large number of homes and shelters. The general scheme is to have five types of homes in each State. Of these, one would be for rescued women for whom a fairly long period of social and environmental adjustment may be necessary. Two homes are proposed for the 'after-care' of persons discharged from correctional institutions, one for men and the second for women. At the remaining two institutions short-term rehabilitation services will be provided for persons discharged from non-correct tional institutions. There will also be one shelter in each district for the reception, medical examination and screening of these persons before they are passed on to the State Homes.
A sum of Rs. 14 crores is provided for the Central Social Welfare Board's Schemes, while for after-care and social and moral hygiene programmes Rs. 3 crores are provided in the plans of States and Rs. 3 crores in the schemes of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
WELFARE OF THE PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY HANDICAPPED PERSONS
6. In September, 1955 the Ministry of Education constituted a National Advisory Council for the Education of the Handicapped. The functions of this Council are to advise the Central Government on problems concerning the education, training, and employment and the provision of social and cultural amenities for the physically and mentally handicapped, to formulate new schemes and to provide liaison with voluntary organisations working in this field. It is proposed to undertake a survey of the problem of the physically and mentally handicapped. There are at present about 60 schools for the blind, 44 for the deafmutes, 9 for the cripped and diseased and 5 for the mentally handicapped. The majority of these are private institutions which are aided by Government. In the second plan provision has been made for providing additional facilities such as model schools for blind children and deaf children,a women's section in the training school for the adult blind, provision for scholarships etc. In the plans of a number of States also provision has been made for the welfare and education of physically and mentally handicapped persons. For the rehabilitation of persons suffering from incurable diseases provision has been made in the programme of the Ministry of Health.
7. A number of youth organisations and youth welfare programmes received active support during the first five year plan. In the plan a provision ofRs. 1 crore has been made for organising a comprehensive programme of youth camps and labour service for students. The object of this programme was to encourage youth participation in constructive national activities. Three-fourths of the amount was allocated for labour and social service camps and onefourth for work projects such as construction of swimming pools open air theatres etc. to be undertaken by students in and around their educational institutions.
By the end of 1955 about 900 camps had been organised and in these about 100,000 young persons participated. These camps took part in the construction of canals and roads, repair of buildings and tanks, slum clearance, sanitation drives, etc. The Bharat Sevak Samaj which has a special ancillary organisation for youth, the Bharat Yuwak Samaj, also organised nearly 500 youth and students camps in which about 40,000 youths took part. The strength of the Bharat Scouts and Guides movement rose during the plan by about 50 per cent. The movement now includes 438,405 scouts and 68,118 guides. The work of the National Cadet Corps and the Auxiliary Cadet Corps also developed during the plan period on a large scale. The National Cadet Corps has now a total strength of 118,000, of whom 46,000 are in the senior division, 64,000 in the junior division, 8000 in the girls' division and 3,000 are teachers and leaders drawn from educational institutions. The Auxiliary Cadet Corps, which now counts 750,000 boys and girls on its rolls, has a programme of expansion to twice its present strength by the end of the second plan. In its plan, the Ministry of Education has provided for the establishment of National College of Physical Education for the development of sports and for support to various' youth welfare activities such as youth leadership, training camps, youth hostels, etc. Provision has also been made for labour and social service camps and work projects and for assisting the work of the Bharat Scouts and Guides.
OTHER WELFARE PROGRAMMES
8. For the second five year plan the Ministry of Home Affairs have formulated proposals, relating to juvenile delinquency, social and moral hygiene, vagrancy or beggary and probation. The man object of these proposals is to build up the essential institutions needed for developing social welfare work in relation to these problems. A provision of Rs. 2 crores has been made in the plan of the Ministry for the purpose of assisting States in which the necessary institutions are not already organised either by the State Governments themselves or by voluntary organisations.
9. Juvenile delinquency has been growing in large cities, the most common offence being theft. Legislation for dealing with juvenile delinquents exists in 15 States and has been recommended in others, but often it is not adequately enforced. Juvenile courts exist only in a few States; elsewhere trials of juveniles are conducted by the ordinary courts. The number of institutions for juveniles are relatively small, being limited to 67 remand homes, 49 certified schools, 7 reformatory schools, 5 juvenile jails and 8 borstal institutions. The Central Government has suggested to States that there should be a remand home in each important town in which juveniles in custody may be lodged during the period of investigation of trial. It has also suggested that each State should have a certified school and a hostel for boys, where juveniles released on probation can be lodged if they cannot be attached to suitable families during this period. Finally, each State should have a borstal school for young delinquents between the ages of 15 and 21 years. Child guidance clinics and school social workers could assist in early treatment of behaviour problems and in reducing the incidence of juvenile delinquency.
10. The Central Government has also suggested that in States where a probation system does not already exist, a beginning should now be made. It is further proposed that in the more important jails welfare officers should be appointed for the purpose of contacting prisoners during their stay in jails and for keeping in touch with them and their families after release.
11. The beggar problem has attracted attention for a long period but its extensive character and ramifications have hitherto impeded effective action. Study of the problem is being undertaken through two research schemes instituted by the Research Programmes Committee of the Planning Commission. It is important that steps to formulate a programme for eliminating the beggar problem altogether should now be taken. To provide for the worst cases, the Central Government has proposed that in each State there should be a home for 100 old, infirm, diseased or disabled beggars.
RESOURCES FOR SOCIAL WELFARE
12. The brief review which has been given above of programmes in the field of social welfare which have to be undertaken in tlie second five year plan will show that as a result of developments of the past three or four years social welfare programmes are now being implemented as an integral part of planned development. The plan provides nearly Rs. 29 crores for schemes of social welfare. Rs. 19 crores at the Centre and nearly Rs. 10 crores in the States. A provision of about Rs. 11 crores is made for youth welfare and social welfare programmes in the plan of the Ministry of Education. Allied to these are the provision in the plan ofRs. 15 crores for local development works and of Rs. 5 crores for social schemes connected with public cooperation. In this connection, full account should also be taken of the provision of about Rs. 91 crores for the welfare of backward classes and of the outlay provided in the plan on rural development programmes, including national extension and community projects and village and small industries. Where economic and social factors have such an intimate bearing on one another, it is difficult to draw too sharp a distinction between programmes for promoting social welfare and programmes for promoting economic development. They both subserve an identical purpose.
13. In the Five Year Plan the suggestion was made that funds available with endowments and trusts may be an important method of supplementing resources which States and private agencies can raise for social welfare. Enquiries on this subject were recommended with a view to evolving a basis for legislation concerning the use for approved purposes of funds held by endowments and trusts. In the past substantial sums for promoting social welfare activities were made available through trusts and endowments. It has been observed that after a period many trusts became inactive, their income is not spent for the purposes originally intended and unproductive investments occur. In mobilising private effort in support of social welfare programmes, a view should be taken of the contribution which trusts could make, especially towards the resources of voluntary organisations. These possibilities are being investigated.
14. Finally, it may be urged that in all fields of social welfare each local community has to assume the main responsibility for providing relief and assistance to the needy and the handicapped. The role of the State and the agencies set up by it cannot but be of a limited character. However, the experience of the first plan shows that resources provided by public authorities in money and personnel can go a long way in stimulating community effort and invoking much devoted voluntary service. This is the assumption on which the larger programmes proposed for the second five year plan have been formulated.
15. For many years considerable section of public opinion has urged that prohibition of consumption of intoxicating drinks and of drugs injurious to health should be carried out as an essential item of social policy. In Article 47 of the Constitution this has been already accepted as a directive principle. Since progress in this respect had been on the whole meagre, the Planning Commission set up a special, committee to examine the experience gained regarding measures adopted by State Governments and to make recommendations for a programme of prohibition on a national basis, indicating the manner and stages in which and the machinery through which this programme should be carried out. The report of the committee has recently been considered in consultation with State Governments and the Central Ministries and recommendations set out below have been generally approved by the National Development Council.
16. In the consideration of any basic social policy, financial considerations, although of great practical importance, are not to be treated as decisive in character. What is important is that the programmes should be so formulated that they can be implemented successfully over a period. For the country as a whole there is nee'd for a common approach towards prohibition, but detailed programmes have to be drawn up by States. Some States will be able to proceed ahead of others and to the extent they do so, they will show the way and provide experience on which other States can base their detailed programmes.
17. A national policy like prohibition has to be approached from different directions such as enforcement measures, growth of the sanction of public opinion, voluntary work of social service agencies and of social workers and the provision of alternative interest and recreations. While the direction will be common, there is room for a degree of variation in the steps to be taken in different parts of the country according to local conditions and circumstances. Each State could formulate a series of specific tasks to be undertaken by it in the various directions mentioned above. The Prohibition Enquiry Committee has suggested April, 1958 as the target date for the enforcement of prohibition uniformly throughout the country. We consider that there is practical advantage in each State Government approaching the problem in terms of phased programmes setting out specific targets to be achieved over the whole field of social and administrative action. While there should be general agreement on the main directions of the programme to be pursued, with provision for constant review and assessment, it would not be necessary to insist upon identical steps or identical dates for all. the States in the Union- On balance this appears to us to be the best way of advancing towards the objective of prohibition.
18. The Prohibition Enquiry Committee has recommended the setting up of a Central Committee to review the progress of prohibition programmes and to coordinate activities in different States and to keep in touch with their practical difficulties. The Central Committee should, it has been suggested, make a report to the National Development Council once a year. We are in agreement with these recommendations. We also think that it will be useful, as the Committee has proposed, that Prohibition Boards and district prohibition committees, should be set up in the States and there should be Administrators of Prohibition to implement the programme.
19. Several of the proposals made by the Committee will need detailed examination by Ministries and States. We suggest that as a first step State Governments may take action in the. following directions:
20. In pursuance of these suggestions State Governments have been requested to evolve phased programmes and, at the same time, to ensure that the programme for implementing the policy of prohibition is drawn up with a view to completion within a reasonable time. In States which have already introduced prohibition more effective enforcement and steps to secure increased public co-operation are matters to which considerable urgency and importance should be attached. Where partial prohibition has beea introduced States have been requested to consolidate and strengthen prohibition throughout their territories. The policy for prohibition was discussed on a non-official resolution by the Lok Sabha which passed the following resolution on the 31st March, 1956.
"This House is of opinion that prohibition should be regarded as an integral part of the Second Five Year Plan and recommends that the Planning Commission should formulate the necessary programme to bring about nation-wide Prohibition speedily and effectively".
The Resolution was accepted on behalf of the Government of India.
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