CHAPTER XVII

OTHER SOCIAL SERVICES

(a)

Labour Welfare

(b)

Prohibition

©

Advancement of Backward Classes and Tribes

(d)

Other Social Welfare Activities

(e)

Public Trusts, Charitable Endowments and Muslim Wakfs

 

            In separate chapters of the Gazetteer, elaborate accounts on education and medical and public health services, which concern the entire population of the district have been given.  Only those which are relatively less important and concern only a smaller section of the people introducing labour welfare, prohibition, advancement of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes and charitable endowments find mention below :

 

(a)    Labour Welfare

 

            Labour problem and labour legislation, as it were, are akin to the rapid industrial development of a country.  Traditionally Bathinda has always been an industrially backward district.  Labour welfare implies such services, facilities and amenities as may be established in or in the vicinity of industrial undertakings to enable the persons employed in them to perform their work in healthy and congenial surroundings.  It also aims at providing them with amenities conducive to good health and sound morals.  Welfare activities also include such activities as may be carried out for improving the health, safety, general well-being and the industrial efficiency of the workers beyond the other labour legislation. Thus labour welfare also includes housing, medical and educational facilities, nutrition, facilities for rest and recreation, co-operative societies, day nurseries and creches, provision of healthy accommodation, holidays with pay, social insurance measures, etc. undertaken voluntarily by the employers.

 

            The State Government set up the Punjab Industrial Safety Council in May 1969, on the pattern of the National Safety Council.  It is a voluntary organization without any political affiliation.  Factory owners and associations of workers, government departments, and all other interested in the safety measures in industry can become members of this council.  Its functions are to advise, organize, encourage and promote methods and procedures for assuring safety and health of the industrial workers.

 

            Labour Legislation.  Labour legislation is necessary to tackle economic and social problems, as civil laws in general do not deal adequately with labour problems.  The labour laws are motivated by a humanitarian approach, as propounded by the International of social justice.  Labour, under the Constitution India, is a concurrent subject and as such both Central and State legislatures are empowered to make laws.  Accordingly, the State  Government has also enacted certain labour legislations to suit the local needs.

 

            The important labour laws (Central and State) in force in the district are : the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923; the Trade Union Act, 1926; the Payment of Wages Act, 1936; the Employment of Children Act, 1938; the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946; the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947; the Factories Act, 1948; the Minimum Wages Act, 1948; the Working Journalists1 (Conditions of Services and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1955; the Punjab Industrial Housing Act, 1956, the Punjab Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, 1958; the Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961; the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961; the Payment  of Bonus Act, 1965; the Punjab Labour Welfare Fund Act, 1965; the Punjab Industrial Establishments (National and Festival Holidays, Casual and Sick Leave) Act, 1965; the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970; the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972; and the Fair Wage Clause and East Punjab Works Department Contracts Labour Regulations.

 

The above mentioned labour enactments contain various welfare measures for the labour and inter alia provide for regulation of conditions and hours of work, rest intervals, leave with wages, national and festival holidays, casual and sick leave, overtime payment, safety from accidents, health and sanitation, prohibition of employment of children below certain age and of women at night, regular payment of wages, payment of minimum wages, payment of minimum bonus, payment of gratuity, formation of trade unions for the purpose of collective bargaining, certification of standing orders by employers for clearly defining the service conditions of workers, redressal of grievances and settlement of industrial disputes etc.

 

            Before the Independence, there existed no separate organization in the State to look after the interests of industrial labour and other workers and to deal with their day-to-day problems.  It was only in 1949 that a separate Labour Department was set up under the charge of a Labour Commissioner.  The primary functions of the State Labour Department are to maintain peaceful industrial relations in the State, and to further the labour welfare measures, both statutory and non-statutory.  Subject to certain limitations, it ensures that the working conditions for labour conform to a certain minimum of safety and comfort; that the wages are adequate and regularly paid; and that injuries sustained during the performance of duties are properly treated and suitably compensated.  The department also seeks to provide for medical care and model living covering as many labourers and their dependents as possible.  The prevention of industrial disputes and their settlement as and when these arise, is one of the major functions of the department.

 

            The implementation of various labor laws in Bathinda District has been divided between two labour-cum-conciliation officers with headquarters at Patiala and Mansa.  The Labour-cum-Conciliation Officer, Patiala is responsible for conciliation work under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.  He is assisted, besides other subordinate staff, by one Labour Inspector, Grade I, Bathinda.  The Labour Inspector, Bathinda is responsible for the inspection work in the organized sector.

 

            The Labour-cum-Conciliation Officer, Bathinda, with headquarters at Mansa has functional jurisdiction in Bathinda District only.  He is responsible for the implementation of various labour laws in unorganised sector, rural areas, construction works, brick-kilns and rice mills located outside the municipal limits with special emphasis for the implementation of Minimum Wages Act, 1948 in agriculture sector.  He is assisted in Wages Act, 1948 in agriculture sector.  He is assisted in inspection work by the Labour Inspector Grade I, Mansa, whose functional jurisdiction extends to the whole of the district.  He is also required to check and supervise the work of two Labour Inspectors Grade II, with headquarters at Bathinda and Mansa.  The Labour Inspector Grade II, Bathinda is concerned with the implementation of various labour laws in shops and commercial establishments, functioning at Bathinda, Goniana, Raman and Bhucho, while Labour Inspector, Grade II, Mansa performs similar functions in commercial establishments and shops located at Mansa, Rampura Phul, Bhikhi, Budhlada, Maur and Bareta.

 

            The Labour-cum-Conciliation Officer, Patiala, also deals with the Industrial Disputes Act, 197.  Section 12(1) of the Act casts a duty upon conciliation officers to take steps immediately when there is an apprehension of an industrial dispute.  It requires the conciliation officers to move even suo motu to get the employer and the representative of workmen together.  They are empowered to inspect any document which they think necessary.  They have to see that a fair settlement is arrived at between the parties amicably.  In case they fail to settle the dispute, the matter is referred to the Labour Court, Patiala, or the Industrial Tribunal, Punjab, Chandigarh, depending on the nature of the case.

 

            The salient features of the Central and State Labour Laws in force in the district are given below :

 

            Central Legislation. – The Factories Act, 1948, provides for health measures, safety from accidents, provision for canteens, shelters and rest rooms, working hours, intervals for rest, leave with wages, etc.  The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, provides for dealing with industrial disputes through conciliation machinery, works committees, adjudication and arbitration.  The payment of Wages Act, 1936, regulates the payment of wages to the workers employed in establishments covered under the Act.  The inspectorate staff is required to deal with complaints regarding non-payment of wages, delayed payments and less payments.  The Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923,  provides for the payment by certain classes of employers to their workmen of compensation for injury by accident.  The Indian Trade Union Act, 1926, provides for registration of trade unions and certain rights and privileges to the registered trade unions.  It gives immunity from civil and criminal liability to trade union executives and members for bonafide trade union activities.  The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, requires the employers, employing 100 or more persons, to define with sufficient precision the conditions known to the workmen employed by them.  The Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961, marks an important milestone in the field of labour legislation as it seeks to regulate and ameliorate the conditions of workers in the transport undertakings employing five or more workers.

 

            The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, contains the provisions regarding the payment of  bonus to the employees by the employer from his share of profits.  The Employment of Children Act, 1938, prohibits the employment of young children below the age of 15 years in certain risky and unhealthy occupations.  The Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948, contemplates the provision of medical benefits and payment of sickness benefit to insured workers in case of sickness indisposition, disability, etc.  The Employees' Provident Fund Act, 1952, seeks to make a provision for his dependents in case of his death before retirement.  The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, provides for payment of maternity benefit to women workers for a period of 12 weeks.  The Payment of Gratuity act, 1972, provides for a scheme for the payment of oilfields, plantations, railway companies, shops or other establishments and in the matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.  For the administration of this Act, the Labour-cum-Conciliation officers are the controlling authority.

 

            State Legislation.  The Punjab Shops and Commercial Establishment Act, 1958, regulates the working conditions, hours of work, rest intervals and weekly rest as also holidays, leave and overtime for workers employed in the shops and commercial establishments.  The Act also provides for opening and closing hours of establishments and entitles the employees in the even of a violation of any of these provisions, to go to courts to get their grievances redressed.  The Punjab Labour Welfare Funds Act, 1965, provides for the setting up of a Labour Welfare Fund, out of which the Board is to finance its various functioning in the State.  The Labour Commissioner, Punjab, Chandigarh, is the Welfare Commissioner under the Act.  The Punjab Industrial Establishments (National and Festival Holidays, Casual and Sick Leave) Act, 1965, provides for the grant of 7 days national and festival holiday, casual leave on full wages and 14 days sick leave on half wages to all employees covered under the Act.

 

            In order to secure proper benefits under the various labour laws, a full-fledged enforcement machinery works under the Labour Commissioner, Punjab, Chandigarh.  He is assisted at the district level, by Labour-cum-Conciliation Officers, Factory Inspectors, Labour Inspectors and other miscellaneous staff.

 

            Under the 20-Point Economic Programme, a separate rural wing has been set up in the Labour Department for effective enforcement of minimum wages for agricultural labour.  The maximum wages for various unskilled workers have been fixed Rs. 401 per mensem from 1 January 1985 and it is linked with consumer price index number.

 

            Industrial Relations. – The relations between employees and employers, are governed by the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.  The object of this Act is to ensure harmonious Industrial relations between the workers and employers.  The industrial relations between the workers and employers.  The industrial relations machinery set up under the Act is of two types; one for the prevention of disputes by providing works committees within the industrial units; and the other for the industrial relations outside the industry comprising conciliation officers, boards of conciliation, courts of enquiry, labour courts of enquiry, labour courts, industrial tribunals and national tribunals.

 

            The relations between the employers and employees remained peaceful during 1978, 1980, 1983 and 1985, as no strike took place in the district.  However, during 1979, 1981, 1982, 1984 and 1986 to 1989, 23 strikes occurred.

 

            The following table gives the particulars regarding the industrial disputes in the Bathinda District under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, from 1979 to 1989 :

________________________________________________________________________

Year                Number of                              Number of                              Number of

                       Strikes and                              workers                                  mandays

                       Lock-outs                               involved in                               lost

                                                                     strikes

________________________________________________________________________

 

1979                       1                                     1,078                                      3,052

1980                      --                                          --                                            --

1981                       2                                     2,625                                      42,743

1982                       2                                     2,023                                        7,267

1983                      --                                           --                                             --

1984                       1                                        314                                         2,512

1985                      --                                           --                                              --

1986                       3                                     1,726                                     10,147

1987                     10                                      3,346                                    1,47,337

1988                       3                                     1,530                                        4,534

1989                       1                                           40                                           271

________________________________________________________________________

 

                                   (Source : Labour Commissioner, Punjab, Chandigarh)

 

            Trade Unions. – Trade unions are voluntary associations of employees formed to promote and protect their interests through collective action and for securing them a better and healthier status in industry as well as in society.  These are continued associations of wage earners for the purpose of maintaining and improving the conditions of their working.  The trade unions are indispensable because the workers require their help in time of sickness or death, and protection against the suffering and when they are out of job, or when they are too old to work.  Further, the trade union provides and appropriate machinery for settling the strained relations between the employers and employees.  Trade unions, developed on proper lines, lessen class conflicts and are beneficial to the employers, the employees, the State and the public in general.

 

            Since Independence, there has been a considerable growth of the trade union movement in the district and, as a result, there has been a constant increase in the number of registered trade unions. The particulars of trade unions, registered under the Indian Trade Unions Act, 1926, functioning in the district, are given in Appendix I on pages 491 to 493.

 

            The Factories Act, 1948. – The Factories Act, 1948, was enacted to  provide congenial atmosphere, healthy and clean surroundings to the workers during the working hours and for the improvement of industrial efficiency.  The Act was enforced in the State in April 1949.  It was amended in 1954 to remove certain practical difficulties in calculation of leave with wages and to bring certain essential provisions relating to employment of women and young persons in factories during night.  The Act covers all industrial establishments employing 10 or more workers where power is used or 20 or more workers, where power is not in use.  Under the Act, the factory owner is required to send a written notice containing full details regarding the factory to the Chief Inspector of Factories.  The Act prescribes certain provisions regarding cleanliness, lighting, ventilation, sanitation, safety measures, prevention of over-crowding precautionary measures against fire, dangerous fumes, explosive or inflammable dust, etc.  It also provides for the elimination of dust and fumes, control of temperature, supply of cold drinking water, protection of eyes, etc. in the working premises.  The welfare provisions included in the Act provide for adequate canteen facilities creches and shelters or rest rooms.  The Act also lays down that every factory employing 1,000 or more workers shall engage a qualified Safety Officer and every factory employing 500 or more workers shall engage a qualified Labour Welfare Officer to look after the welfare of workers.  With a view to ensuring the enforcement of these provisions, the inspectorate staff are required to carry out a minimum number of inspections every month.  In case of default, the management is warned and asked to provide the required facilities to the workers and if the violation continues, prosecutions are launched.

 

            In 1987, the number of working registered factories under the Act in the district was 484 and the number of workers employed in these factories during the year was 15,987.  To look after the general welfare of the employees, Labour Welfare Officers, have been employed by Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant, Bathinda, National Fertilizer Limited, Bathinda, and Punjab Spinning and Weaving Mills Limited, Bathinda.

 

            Employees' Provident Fund Scheme. – The wages of the industrial workers are not sufficient to enable them to save adequately for their old age.  When old age or illness renders them unfit for work, they are forced to lead a life to abject poverty and dependence.  In the event of workers' premature death, his dependents are left destitute.  The Employees Provident Fund Scheme, framed by the Government of India under the Employees' Provident Fund and Family Pension Funds Act, 1952, attempts to remedy this situation.

 

            This scheme came into force on its entirety from 1 November 1952.  Compulsory provident fund has been introduced in certain specified industrial establishments under the Employees' Provident Funds and Family Funds Act, 1952.  Every employee of an establishment, to which the Employees' Provident Fund Scheme applies, is eligible for membership of the fund after completion of 3 months' continuous service or 60 days of actual work whichever is earlier.  Contribution @ 6 ½  per cent is deducted by the employer from the wages, dearness allowance (inclusive of cash value of fund concession if any admissible) and retaining allowances for employees who get Rs. 2,500 per mensem or less as basic wages and who are otherwise eligible for the membership of the scheme.  An amount equal to the workers contribution is contributed by the employer every month.  The entire amount is deposited with the State Bank of India in employees’ provident fund account.  The administrative charges at a fixed rate are contributed additionally by the employer.  For the execution of the scheme, the Regional Commissioner, Provident Fund, Chandigarh, is in charge for the states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Union Territory of Chandigarh.  He is assisted by a number of Inspectors in the field who executes government policies.  The employers are required to maintain contributory cards for each employee in which monthly contribution are recorded.  These cards can be seen or inspected at any time.

 

            The number of factories/establishments covered under the Act in Bathinda District, as on 31 March 1989, was 323 and the total number of subscribers to the scheme was 15,057.

 

            The members can draw an advance for payment of premium of their Life Insurance policies, purchase of a dwelling site or house, construction of a house, marriage and to defray medical expenses in case of serious illness from their share of contribution.

 

            To afford financial assistance to the nominees/heirs of the deceased members, Death Relief Fund was set up in 1964.  A minimum of Rs. 500 is disbursed as relief.  A non-refundable advance is also granted in case of individuals’ retrenchment from service.

 

            Employees’ State Insurance Scheme. – The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948, is designed to provide security to the industrial worker against sickness, maternity, disablement or death due to employment injury, and to provide medical care to insured persons and progressively to their families.  The Act provides protection to the employees working in factories using power and employing 10 or more persons and establishments/shops not using power and employing 20 or more persons.  The Employees’ State Insurance Scheme was introduced in the Punjab State in 1953.

 

            The worker who is covered under the scheme is entitled to get medical benefits from the day he enters into insurable employment.  It consists of free medical treatment in case of sickness, injury and maternity.  His family members are also entitled to get free medical care as explained under the Act.  Insured women are confinement, miscarriage or sickness arising out of confinement and premature birth of child.  In recent years, the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation has been providing additional benefits and protection to the workers suffering from tuberculosis, cancer, leprosy, mental diseases and also provided artificial limbs.

 

            The insured men/women undergoing sterilization under family planning programme are entitled to cash benefits and rest of  7 days for vasectomy and 14 days for tubectomy.  This may also be extended to 14 days and 21 days, respectively in consequence of post-operative complications.

 

            In addition to above, the sickness benefit is available to an insured worker incase of certified sickness.  It consists of cash payment for 91 days in two consecutive benefit periods in case of sickness duly certified by Medical Officer to compensate the loss of wages suffered on account of their absence from work. In case of long-term diseases, insured persons are entitled to extend sickness benefit at the rate of 25 per cent more than the rate of sickness benefit for additional 124 or 309 days in accordance with the diseases.  The temporary disablement benefit is given at the rate of 40 per cent more than the standard sickness benefits to insured persons who sustain employment injury.  Further if an employment injury results in permanent disablement benefit proportionate to the loss of his earning capacity as assessed by the Medical Board constituted for this purpose.  Artificial dentures, spectacles and hearing-aids are provided to an insured person where loss of teeth, impairment of eyesight and loss of hearing, respectively are caused due to employment injury.

 

            Dependent’s benefit is available in the form of pension to the dependents of a deceased worker, in case his death occurs due to an industrial accident or injury.  The rates of pension vary depending upon the relationship between the deceased and the dependents.

 

            The Act also provides funeral benefits upto Rs. 100, which are payable to the eldest surviving member of the family of the deceased insured persons to meet the expenditure on the funeral of the deceased.  Where the insured person does not live with his family at the time of his death, the benefit is payable to the person who actually incurs the expenditure on the funeral of the deceased.

 

            The Scheme is administered by a corporate body called the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation which has its headquarters at New Delhi.  It is under the administrative control of the Director General, Employees’ State Insurance Corporation, New Delhi.  The scheme is executed in the State through the Regional Director, Employees’ State Insurance Corporation, Chandigarh who inspects factories, collects contributions and arranges payments of cash benefits.  The scheme is financed mainly by contributions from the employees and employers with the State Government sharing a part of the cost of medical care.

 

            In the Bathinda District, the scheme has been functioning since 18 April 1982.  Upto 31 March 1989,  9,998 employees were covered under the scheme in the district.

 

 

(b)              Prohibition

 

            Prohibition implies a ban on the consumption of all intoxicating drinks and drugs dangerous to health except for medical purposes. But excepting opium, prohibition of liquor and other intoxicating drugs, etc. has not been introduced in the district. There were 240 country liquor vends and 30 Indian Made Foreign Liquor vends in he Bathinda District as on 31 March 1989.

 

            The consumption of exciseable articles in the district during 1977-78 to 1988-89, is given in the following table :—

 

1.      Year

Country Spirit (Proof Litres)

Foreign Spirit (Proof Litres)

Wine and Beer (Bulk Litres)

Opium

1977-78

11,06,277

2,80,107

5,62,227

4.0

1978-79

13,92,225

2,09,430

4,96,083

3.0

1979-80

15,20,960

3,20,372

4,78,985

--

1980-81

15,55,960

4,51,288

3,71,382

3.50

1981-82

12,44,767

8,17,306

3,18,821

3.50

1982-83

15,97,000

3,99,540

1,76,624

3.00

1983-84

16,96,658

3,56,724

2,09,815

3.00

1984-85

16,90,750

16,61,888

2,51,247

3.00

1985-86

18,59,000

5,48,984

1,91,970

3.00

1986-87

19,01,537

4,79,589

1,76,097

--

1987-88

23,37,598

4,92,564

2,19,370

3.00

1988-89

28,22,606

6,11,005

2,24,546

--

 

(Statistical Abstracts of Punjab 1978 to 1985 and Assistant Excise and Texation Commissioner, Bathinda)

 

            Bathinda District falls under the jurisdiction of Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Firozpur. The Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Bathinda, administers ant Excise and Opium Acts in the district. He is assisted by 2 Excise and Taxation Officers, 15 Excise Inspectors, 1 Sub-Inspector (Excise Police), 2 Head Constables, 14 Constables, besides other miscellaneous staff.

 

            The Number of cases detected under the Punjab Excise and Opium Acts in the district, during 1977-78 to 1988-89, is given below :

 

2.      Year

3.      Number of cases detected

4.       

Excise Act

Opium Act

Total

1977-78

291

18

309

1978-79

321

25

346

1979-80

399

18

417

1980-81

295

--

295

1981-82

269

--

269

1982-83

281

9

290

1983-84

447

5

452

1984-85

565

--

565

1985-86

586

668

1,254

1986-87

979

383

1,362

1987-88

739

241

980

1988-89

928

184

1,112

(Source : Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Bathinda)

 

(c)               Advancement of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes

 

            The programme for the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes was started in Bathinda District in 1949 when the Department of Welfare of Scheduled Castes was established in the erstwhile PEPSU. After the merger of PEPSU with Punjab in 1956, the interests of these classes are being watched by the Department of Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, Punjab. The main object of this 94,243 persons (1,58,178 males and 1,36,065 females) lived in rural areas and 58,246 (31,481 males and 26,765 females) in urban areas.

 

            The list of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes inhabiting the district alongwith their main professional is given in Appendix II at the end of this chapter on page 494.

 

            Measure adopted for the betterment of the condition of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes.— With a view to improving the general standard of living of he Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, government have launched various schemes for improving their educational, social, cultural and economic status. The Directorate of Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, Punjab, is responsible for implementing various schemes of the State Government as well as the schemes sponsored by the Government of India for the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes in the State.

 

            The Constitution of India provides for the reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes in the Parliament and also in the State Assemblies on the basis of their population for a period of 10 years from the date India became Republic (26 January 1950), i.e. up to 1960. A number of seats have been reserved for these classes in the panchayats, panchayat samities and zila parishads. In order to provide employment to educated boys and girls of these castes, 25 per cent vacancies have been reserved for the Scheduled Castes and 5 per cent for the Backward Classes in all government departments and establishments at the time of direct recruitment. There is also a provision for reservation in promotion. There is also a provision for reservation in promotion, 20 per cent in Class III and IV posts and 14 per cent in Class I and II posts for the Scheduled Castes.

 

            The District Welfare Officer, Bathinda, is responsible for the implementation of welfare schemes for Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes at the district level. He is assisted by 3 Tahsil Welfare Officers, 1 Lady Supervisor, 6 Lady Social Workers, 1 Accountant, 1 Assistant, besides other miscellaneous staff.

 

            The details of various schemes undertaken for ameliorating the lot of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes are given below :

 

a.      Welfare Schemes

 

            The department of Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes has undertaken the following schemes in the district :

 

(1)              Subsidy for the Construction of New Houses for Scheduled Castes and Vimukt Jatis.—For providing shelter to the homeless members of the Scheduled Castes and Vimukt Jatis, subsidies are granted for the construction of new houses. This scheme was introduced in Bathinda District during the Second Five-year Plant. Upto 1974-75, a subsidy of Rs 900 for construction of a house was given to a person who had no house of his own. However, due to rise in prices, the amount of subsidy has been increased to Rs 2,000 from 1975-76. Unskilled labour and the land for the site is provided by the beneficiary himself. A beneficiary is required to build a house, consisting of one room, one varandah, a kitchen and a courtyard with a total area of 5 to 6 murlas. The proprietary rights of house remain vested with the Punjab Government for 20 years and thereafter the houses becomes the property of the beneficiary. However, the latter enjoys the free use of the house during this period.

 

            The amount of subsidy granted and the number of beneficiaries under the scheme in the district, during 1977-78 to 1988-89, are given below :

 

5.      Year

Amount disbursed
(Rs)

Number of
beneficiaries

1977-78

38,000

39

1978-79

82,000

41

1979-80

1,00,000

50

1980-81

1,32,000

66

1981-82

74,000

37

1982-83

1,32,000

46

1983-84

1,16,000

58

1984-85

78,000

39

1985-86

60,000

12

1986-87

90,000

18

1987-88

90,000

18

1988-89

90,000

18

(Source : Director, Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, Punjab and District Welfare Officer, Bathinda).

 

            The Scheduled Castes persons, who are engaged in unclear professions like sweeping, scavenging, leather tanning, flaying, etc. and have no pakka house are given subsidy at the rate of Rs 2,000 for the construction of a house. The amount disbursed and the number of beneficiaries in the district, during 1977-78 to 1988-89, were as under :

           

6.      Year

Amount disbursed
(Rs)

Number of
beneficiaries

1977-78

2,16,000

108

1978-79

1,76,000

88

1979-80

2,00,000

100

1980-81

2,00,000

100

1981-82

2,00,000

100

1982-83

2,04,000

102

1983-84

2,16,000

108

1984-85

2,42,000

121

1985-86

30,000

6

1986-87

50,000

10

1987-88

50,000

10

1989-90

70,000

14

(Source : Director, Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, Punjab and District Welfare Officer, Bathinda).

 

            (2)       Drinking Water Facilities.—With a view to providing pure drinking water to the members of Scheduled Castes inhabiting the area where there is scarcity of water, this scheme was introduced in the district in 1952-53. Under this scheme, subsidy of Rs 4,000 for the construction of diggies and sinking of new wells, Rs 1,000 for repair of old wells, and Rs 900 for installation of hand-pumps is given.

 

            The amount of subsidy granted and the number of wells sunk/repaired and hand-pumps installed in the district, during 1977-7 to 1988-89, are given below :

 

7.      Year

Amount disbursed
as subsidy
(Rs)

Number of wells sunk/
repaired and hand-pump
installed

1977-78

50,000

68

1978-79

28,800

43

1979-80

25,000

36

1980-81

25,000

30

1981-82

40,000

48

1982-83

20,000

23

1983-84

29,000

35

1984-85

29,900

36

1985-86

19,100

23

1986-87

19,900

23

1987-88

18,300

21

1988-89

24,100

30

(Source : Director, Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, Punjab and District Welfare Officer, Bathinda).

 

            (3)       Construction of Dharmshalas/Chaupals.—This scheme was introduced by the State Government in 1969-70. Under this scheme, dharamshalas are constructed in basties of Scheduled Castes to enable them to derive community benefits from places and arrange social functions, etc. A grant to the extent of Rs 10,000 for the construction of a new dharamshala/chaupal and Rs 3,000 for the repair of an old/kachcha dharamshala or for completion of an incomplete one is given as subsidy.

 

            The amount disbursed under this scheme and the number of dharamshalas constructed/repaired in the district during 1977-78 to 1988-89 are given below :

 

8.      Year

Amount disbursed
(Rs)

Number of  dharamshalas constructed

1977-78

1,07000

17

1978-79

64,000

19

1979-80

50,000

10

1980-81

81,000

21

1981-82

1,52,000

24

1982-83

2,40,000

63

1983-84

60,000

6

1984-85

10,000

1

1985-86

--

--

1986-87

1,41,000

15

1987-88

45,000

3

1988-89

5,06,000

134

(Source : Director, Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, Punjab and District Welfare Officer, Bathinda).

 

(4)              Environmental Improvement of Harijans Basties.—The majority of Scheduled Castes live in the rural areas and their basties lack basic sanitary amenities. To improve the environmental conditions of these basties, the State Government introduced this scheme in 1972-73. Under this scheme, grants are givne to Harijans for the pavements of streets and construction of surface drains, bathrooms, children parks, removal or roories and for improving the stagnant and dirty ponds located within the vicinity of the basties.

 

            The amount disbursed, alongwith the number of villages covered under the scheme, during 1977-78 to 1988-89, is given below :

 

9.      Year

Amount disbursed
(Rs)

Number of
villages

1977-78

1,28,621

2

1978-79

4,83,440

4

1979-80

3,11,117

3

1980-81

4,40,798

3

1981-82

5,46,598

5

1982-83

7,79,253

5

1983-84

6,66,000

7

1984-85

9,91,000

4

1985-86

5,50,589

3

1986-87

3,52,369

2

1987-88

4,00,000

2

1988-89

6,00,000

7

(Source : Director, Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, Punjab and District Welfare Officer, Bathinda).

 

            (5)       Grant for the purchase of Books and Stationery to Scheduled Castes Students of 6th to 11th Class.—As the financial position of the Scheduled Castes is generally poor, they cannot afford to purchase the books and exercise books for their children. A scheme was introduced in 1976-77 to provide books and stationery free of costs to the students belonging to the Scheduled Castes studying in 6th to 11th classes irrespective of the income of their parents. The Welfare Department gets books directly from the Punjab School Education Board and distributes amongst the students through the District Welfare Officer.

 

            The amount disbursed under this scheme and the number of beneficiaries in the district, during 1977-78 to 1988-89 are given on the following page :

 

10.  Year

Amount disbursed
(Rs)

Number of
beneficiaries

1977-78

33,015

2,323

1978-79

61,542

3,676

1979-80

1,34,454

8,223

1980-81

99,352

5,520

1981-82

1,63,668

5,558

1982-83

1,25,000

4,898

1983-84

1,44,500

5,417

1984-85

1,80,803

5,469

1985-86

3,44,412

5,598

1986-87

4,51,116

7,365

1987-88

9,06,825

33,624

1988-89

14,77,684

45,844

(Source : Director, Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, Punjab and District Welfare Officer, Bathinda).

 

            (6)       Opening of Creches for the Children of working Mothers (Sweepers and Scavenger).—Introduced in 1976-77, the scheme aims at providing day-care to those children of Scheduled Castes who are in the age group of 0-6 years and whose mothers go out for work. These creches are run under the supervision of trained Lady Supervisors, assisted by two helpers. One such centre was functioning in the district at Bathinda. This centre accommodated 40 children. Free supplementary diet at the rate of Rs 1.25 per child per day is provided in the centre.

 

            (7)       Community Centres.—The main object of setting up community centres is to improve the economic and social conditions of weaker sections. Training in stitching and embroidery is imparted in these centres. Apart from holding adult education classes, pre-school training to children of age group 0—6 years is also arranged at these centres. These centres have been set up for persons from other communities including Scheduled Castes.

 

            On 31 March 1989, 4 community centres were functioning in the district at Khemniana, Chathewal, Sada Singh Wala and Samanu.

 

(d)         Other Social Welfare Activities

 

            The Social Welfare Department, which was set up in September 1955, is entrusted with the work of formulation of various welfare schemes for socially and econoMically weaker sections. Since the department was set up, it was instituted and assisted institutional as well as non-institutional welfare services for children, women and aged and infirm, orthopaedically handicapped, the blind, deaf and dumb and other under priviledged and maladjusted groups. Free board and lodging, education, medical treatment, facilities for vocational training to the inmates, etc. are provided in the institutions, while in the running of most of the non-institutional schemes, help is provided in the form of monetary assistance.

 

            Keeping in view the difficulties of the public, the pension schemes of the department, viz. Old Age Pension scheme, Financial Assistance to Widows and Destitute Women Scheme and the Financial Assistance to Dependent Children Scheme were decentralised from 1 November 1980. The District Social Welfare Officers have been appointed at each district headquarters of the State under the concerned Deputy Commissioner and the payments are made by the District Social Welfare Officers. The Government has recently taken a decision that the pensions will be disbursed to the beneficiaries through banks. Some of the important schemes together with the amount disbursed and number of beneficiaries are briefly mentioned below :

 

            (1)       Old Age Pension Scheme.—Started in January 1964, this is one of the most important schemes of the Social Welfare Department. It aims at providing social security to aged, infirm and destitute persons in the State by way of pension. Under this scheme, persons above 65 years in case of men, and above 60 years in the case of women, with no means of livelihood and no earning sons, are provided monetary assistance at the rate of Rs 50 per month. Persons suffering from permanent disability are allowed the relaxation of 10 years in the lower age-limit.

 

            The amount disbursed under the scheme and the number of beneficiaries, during 1977-78 to 1988-89, are given below :

 

(e)   Year

Amount disbursed
(Rs)

Number of
beneficiaries

1977-78

--

486

1978-79

--

338

1979-80

--

233

1980-81

10,99,964

4,792

1981-82

16,86,013

6,504

1982-83

18,22,206

4,080

1983-84

22,39,576

3,94

1984-85

23,99,961

4,209

1985-86

29,99,900

5,095

1986-87

30,99,914

6,252

1987-88

36,00,000

7,287

1988-89

40,99,819

7,395

(Source : Director, Social Welfare, Punjab and District Welfare Officer, Bathinda).

 

            (2)       Financial Assistance to Widows and Destitute Women.—This scheme was introduced in the State in January 1968 with a view to providing financial assistance to the needy widows and destitute women below the age of 60 years. The assistance under the scheme is given to those women who are left without any means of subsistance after the demise of their husbands or whose husbands are physically or mentally incapable of earning a livelihood. The financial assistance under the scheme initially was Rs 20 per month per head, but it was increased to Rs 50 per month per head with effect from 1 March 1973 in view of the rising cost of living.

 

            The amount disbursed under the scheme and the number of beneficiaries in the district, during 1977-78 to 1988-89, are given below :

 

(f)     Year

Amount disbursed
(Rs)

Number of
beneficiaries

1977-78

--

95

1978-79

--

98

1979-80

--

84

1980-81

1,89,808

788

1981-82

4,99,731

1,054

1982-83

3,44,767

905

1983-84

5,35,173

1,193

1984-85

9,56,144

1,303

1985-86

9,49,907

1,713

1986-87

11,17,224

1,855

1987-88

8,19,805

1,750

1988-89

10,99,900

1,820

(Source : Director, Social Welfare, Punjab and District Social Welfare Officer, Bathinda).

 

 

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