Social Justice, Empowerment and Welfare
The Social Justice, Empowerment and Welfare Department envisage and implements schemes and programme to uplift the vulnerable sections of the society. Categorically, the schemes and programmes pivots around the Scheduled Tribes, Schedules Caste, Other Backward Classes, women and children, geriatrics, improvised, orphans, juvenile delinquents and the physically challenged. To oversee the execution of the schemes and programmes, the Department is divided into three sections, they are; Welfare Division, Women and Child Development Division and Social Welfare Division.
The Welfare Division of the department is entrusted with the responsibility of social-economic and educational development of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and Minority Communities. The division implements academic oriented schemes, such as the Pre-Matric and Post-Matric Scholarship schemes for SC/ST/OBC and Minority Communities and Merit Scholarship for Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes students. The division is also responsible for implementing Tribal Sub-Plan for Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan for Scheduled Castes, wherein, twenty nine State Government Departments pool in their budget resourses in proportion to the population of the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes and ensure schemes and projects for their benefits. The Division works in tandem with Sikkim Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes Development Department (SABCCO) for provisions of loans to these marginalized sections of the society. The division on its part monitors the Prime Minister’s 20 points programs for development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and implementation of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989.
The Women and Child Development Division endeavours to protect children who are alienated, deprived and marginalized irrespective of caste, creed, colour, gender or religion by facilitating them with opportunities for a wholesome growth within a community setting, thereby enabling them to be productive and economically self reliant and socially responsible citizen. One of the significant schemes is the Small Family Scheme which is State initiated programme launched in 1997 for 13 year old unmarried girls to promote delayed marriage and encourage the norm of a small family.
The locus of the Social Welfare Division revolves around the Welfare of the Handicapped/Physically Challenged Persons/Children, rehabilitation of the disabled, the Aged, Infirm and Destitute and funding of Voluntary Organizations. The Indira Gandhi Nation Old Age Pension Schemes, Subsistence Allowance Scheme and National Family Benefit Scheme are the flagship Schemes of the Department. These schemes are implemented by the Social; Welfare Division.
On highlighting the said schemes, The Indira Gandhi Nation Old Age Pension Schemes is provided to elderly citizens above the age of 65 and belonging to a household of Below Poverty line category. A beneficiary receives an amount of Rs. 400/- per month under this scheme.
The Department on its part has implemented various acts for the protection of rights and welfare of the children, women, disabled, older persons, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes in the State, and in these ways, warrants security and wellbeing towards citizens of the Society.