Swadhar scheme

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  Jan 04, 2020     Akhilesh Tiwari  

The Swadhar scheme was launched by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2002 for rehabilitation of women in difficult circumstances. The scheme provides shelter, food, clothing and care to the marginalized women/girls who are in need. The beneficiaries include widows deserted by their families and relatives, women prisoners released from jail and without family support, women survivors of natural disasters, women victims of terrorist/extremist violence etc. The implementing agencies are mainly NGOs. An Evaluation Study conducted through Centre for Market Research and Social Development to assess the performance of the scheme observed that the scheme is successful for which it was formulated/implemented.

There are 311 Swadhar Homes across the country including Gujarat and Maharashtra, and the total number of women rehabilitated under the scheme in 2014-15 is 4247. There is no Swadhar Home in Mumbai.

Under Swadhar Scheme, funds are released to the implementing agencies which are mainly NGOs. Funds released to the implementing agencies during the year 2013-14 was Rs 2018.55 lakhs, Rs 1660.32 lakhs in 2014-15 and Rs 150.68 in the current year (As on 20.7.2015)

A few complaints have been received against some organizations in few states and appropriate action taken after enquiry. The scheme guidelines provide for monitoring of the programme by District Level Committees headed by respective District Magistrate and also by State Level Committees under the chairmanship of concerned Secretary of the State Government.

The objectives cited above would be pursued adopting the following strategies:

  • Temporary residential accommodation with the provision of food, clothing, medical facilities etc.
  • Vocational and skill up gradation trainings for economic rehabilitation of such women
  • Counseling, awareness generation and behavioral trainings
  • Legal aid and Guidance
  • Counseling through telephone


The benefit of the component could be availed by women above 18 years of age of the following categories:

  • Women who are deserted and are without any social and economic support;
  • Women survivors of natural disasters who have been rendered homeless and are without any social and economic support;
  • Women prisoners released from jail and are without family, social and economic support;
  • Women victims of domestic violence, family tension or discord, who are made to leave their homes without any means of subsistence and have no special protection from exploitation and/ or facing litigation on account of marital disputes; and
  • Trafficked women/girls rescued or runaway from brothels or other places where they face exploitation and Women affected by HIV/AIDS who do not have any social or economic support. However such women/ girls should first seek assistance under UJJAWALA Schemein areas where it is in operation.

Women affected by domestic violence could stay up to one year. For other categories of women, the maximum period of stay could be up to 3 years. The older women above the 55 years of age may be accommodated for maximum period of 5 years after which they will have to shift to old age homes or similar institutions.

Swadhar Greh facilities could also be availed by the children accompanying women in the above categories. Girls up to the age of 18 years and boys up to the age of 8 years would be allowed to stay in the Swadhar Greh with their mothers. (Boys of more than 8 years of age need to be shifted to the Children Homes run under JJ Act/ICPS.)

Akhilesh Tiwari
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