Day 22 – Q.2. How far has the Ujjawala scheme been able to address the problems of rural women? Analyse.
2. How far has the Ujjawala scheme been able to address the problems of rural women? Analyse.
उज्जवला योजना ग्रामीण महिलाओं की समस्याओं का समाधान करने में कितनी सफल रही है? विश्लेषण करें।
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is a scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas for providing LPG connections to women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) households.
The spread of LPG cylinders has been predominantly in the urban and semi-urban areas while household in rural areas are still dependent on fossil fuels for cooking. But there are serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuels.
According to WHO estimates about 5 lakh deaths in India alone due to unclean cooking fuel. Indoor air pollution causes premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. In such scenario, Ujjwala has helped rural women in the following way
- Providing clean fuel to women. So far 5 crore free LPG connections to poor women have been provided.
- Overcome health hazards due to use of wood, cow dung in cooking.
- Freed women from drudgery of collecting fire wood and saved her from wild animal attacks.
- Smoke free house to all including children.
However, following challenges exists in meeting its objectives
- Affordability issues: due to higher LPG costs many people with new connections are not buying refilled cylinders after their first one runs out.
- Poor infrastructure for delivering cylinders – bottling plants, dealers and distributors.
- If oil prices continue to rise as they have been doing in recent months, the cost of LPG cylinders will rise even further – making them even more unattractive.
- Much comfort with chullas than using LPG.
Government has come out with LPG Panchayats and extended beneficiaries beyond BPL. Going forward success of scheme rests on the government’s ability to subsidise refills and rural house-holds ability and willingness to pay for them. It is a social investment which government should pursue.
Best answer: Abhiroop Bishwas