The full form of DWCRA is the Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas. It was launched as a sub-scheme of the Integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP) in 50 districts in 1982 – 1983. Interestingly, the government expanded its area of concern to cover all nationwide districts by 1994 – 95.
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One of the most important aims of DWCRA was to introduce the benefits of the IRDP to even women living in remote areas. By implementing this program, groups of 15-20 women belonging to poor households were formed. Simply put, the DWRCA program was introduced to improve the overall quality of life of women and children.
- DWCRA aims to provide economic self-sufficiency opportunities for rural women, thus breaking the cycle of poverty.
- It offers training in different vocational skills so that they can partake in the workforce and fosters gender equality.
- The program aims to improve access to sanitation, safe drinking water, and healthcare services for women and children living in rural or remote areas.
- It strives to provide easy access to education and reduce illiteracy, enhancing the prospects of rural children.
- DWCRA empowers women to take control of their lives and make informed decisions for the betterment of their families.
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One of the most prominent features of DWCRA is its group strategy in which multiple groups are formed with 10-15 members. Moreover, 15% of the total groups formed must belong to the SC and ST categories. The program aims to make these members of groups aware of their potential, skills, strengths, and powers.
The group members of DWCRA then collectively determine the specific income generation activity they would undertake, depending on their skills. One of the members is appointed as the group organizer who will take care of everything from choosing raw materials and activities to the marketing of final products.
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