Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday announced grant of investment fund of Rs. 8,800 crore to DWCRA groups in the State. Assuring an assistance of Rs.10,000 to each DWCRA group, Mr. Naidu said he would shortly release Rs.7,000 crore for the purpose. Addressing a public meeting at the outer stadium on the International Women's Day, the Chief Minister exhorted women to forge ahead as a force to reckon with. Women were bagging substantial number of jobs in information technology sector, he said.
Mr. Naidu said that 'Abhayam' programme would be launched for the protection of women and girls. Under the programme, using a mobile appliance the needy women can get assistance of policemen within 15 minutes. She-autos and taxis would be introduced exclusively for women in smaller towns with monitoring by global positioning system.
An Inspector-General of Police rank official would head the Abhayam programme and an additional SP or DSP would head Abhayam cells in the districts, the Chief Minister said. 'Balika Shakti' teams would be introduced for self-defence of women and girls and avert child marriages. Fast-track courts would be set up to deal with atrocities on women.
Assuring to construct own buildings for all DWCRA groups, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu said a free helpline for women with No. 181 would be started. In order to check inconvenience to women passengers, RTC buses would be partitioned with a separate entry for women. Assuring to start 10 women and child hospitals with 100 beds each, he promised to recruit 200 gynaecologists and supporting staff.
Master cards would be issued to women beyond 35 years of age for extending free health check-up for gynaec and other problems. He stressed on ensuring a computer literate in every family. Four lakh women were trained so far and 80 lakh more women would be trained.
Mr. Naidu presented awards to 25 women on International Women's Day. Deputy Chief Minister K.E. Krishnamurthy, Ministers — Peethala Sujatha and K. Mrinalini, Kurnool MP Butta Renuka, Kurnool MLA S.V. Mohan Reddy, former Minister T.G. Venkatesh, and A.P. Mahila Commission chairperson Nannapaneni Rajakumari spoke. Minister K. Atchennaidu, MLAs Bhuma Nagi Reddy, Bhuma Akhila Priya, Gouru Charitha Reddy, and Mani Gandhi, District Collector Ch. Vijayamohan and other officials participated.