Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections

What is meant by ‘Vulnerable Sections’

Vulnerable sections constitutes the section of people who are in need of special care. The following section of people can be considered to be vulnerable

  • Women due to tradition  and patriarchy (male sex considered to be superior to female in society)
  • Scheduled Castes (SC) due to their low social status and oppression due to Caste System
  • Scheduled Tribes (ST) due to their economic, educational and social backwardness
  • Disabled due to their physical and mental inability to perform activities like other human beings
  • Religious minorities due to their backwardness and marginalization compared to the majority religion. For Example  Muslims in India are backward compared to other religions
  • Linguistic Minorities due to their exclusion from the rest of society
  • Old age persons for their neglect from family and society

Welfare Schemes for Women

Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY)

IGMSY is a conditional maternity benefit scheme for pregnant and lactating (one who has given birth to a child recently) mothers. Take a look at the following illustration to know the features of this scheme.



  • Poor coverage
  • Lack of awareness among pregnant women
  • Inaccessibility of banks and post offices
  • Poor implementation in the state and district levels
  • Delayed payments in many states

Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG)-Sabla

Sabla aims at all round development of adolescent girls of age 11 to 18 years. The core features of this Scheme are provided in the chart below


Mode of Implementation: 

  • Central Government provides 100% financial assistance for non-nutritional component and 50% for nutritional component
  • The State Governments and union Territories implement the scheme

Other Schemes Related to Women:

  • Priyadarshini is for women empowerment in the mid-Gangetic plains implemented by NABARD. It aims at forming women self help groups.
  • Swadhar is for providing help to women in difficult circumstances. For Example, Widows destitutes etc.,
  • Short stay homes are launched for providing help accommodation to homeless women
  • Ujjawala aims at prevention of trafficking in women
  • Rashtriya Mahila Kosh is for providing loans to poor women for launching small business

Gender Budgeting Initiative: 

Welfare Schemes for SC/STs

 Scheduled Castes 

National Commission for Scheduled Castes:

National commission for Scheduled Castes is responsible for the following broad objectives

  • Monitoring the safeguards provided by law for Scheduled Castes
  • Review the issues concerning their welfare

Government has come up with the following initiatives to improve their education and economic status

  • Several Scholarship schemes are launched for students from the Scheduled Castes community. For Example: National Overseas Scholarship for SC candidates for Master’s level and PHD programs in foreign countries
  • Special economic assistance is given by the Central Government to State Governments and Scheduled Castes Development Corporation(SCDC) for economic empowerment
  • National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC) has been setup for providing loans with low interest rate to SC families and providing skill training to SC youth

Scheduled Tribes

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes 

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes looks after the constitutional provisions provided for Scheduled tribes and overlooks their implementation issues.

Tribal sub Plan

Tribal Sub Plan was launched for faster Socio-economic development of Scheduled Tribes. The broad objectives of Tribal Sub Plan are given in the chart below


Forest Rights Act 2006:

Forest Rights Act recognizes the rights of Scheduled tribes and others who reside in forests. These rights are denied to them for a very long time due to Colonial laws that were in existence even after independence.

Why it has to do with Scheduled Tribes?

Scheduled tribes considers forests as their home. Most of the Scheduled tribes in india except a few are forest residing communities.

They mostly use Minor Forest Produce for their needs. It means products of plant origin except TimberSome example are

  • Tendu/kendu leaves, cocoon, honey, waxes
  • Medicinal plants and herbs, roots, tuber
  • Bamboo, brushwood, stumps, canes, Tusser

Broad provisions of Forest Rights Act: 

Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana:

Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana is launched for Tribal welfare. It aims at converging several central and state schemes related to tribal welfare. Following are the components of this scheme

  • Providing quality Infrastructure
  • Improving quality of life in tribal areas
  • Improving Tribal Human Development Indices
  • Providing quality education to tribals
  • Providing employment opportunities for tribal families
  • Protection of Tribal culture and heritage

Welfare Schemes for Disabled

Disability refers to physical and mental incapabilities of people. It arises either because of birth defects or post birth circumstances like accidents, diseases and harm to mental health etc.

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014 (it replaced the earlier 1995 bill) covers the various rights of disabled. Some of its focus areas are

  • Providing reservation for disabled in employment and education
  • Providing rights and entitlements to disabled persons. For Example, disabled friendly access to all public buildings, hospitals etc.
  • It provides guardianship to mentally ill persons
  • It has penal provisions for violation

Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharath Abhiyan):

Accessible India Campaign aims at the following broad objectives

  • To take steps to promote the design of disabled friendly buildings
  • To take measures to improve the Human Resources policies concerning disabled

The measures aimed by this program are given in the chart below

Welfare Schemes for Religious and Linguistic Minorities

National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities 

National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities has the following objectives

  • To identify socially and economically backward sections among religious and linguistic minorities and
  • To suggest welfare measures for them

Schemes relating to Religious Minorities

The Government has launched the following welfare measures for minorities

  1. Prime Minister’s New 15 point program aims at all round development of minorities including education, employment , conditions of living etc.
  2. Nai Manzil Scheme was launched for providing formal education and skill training to youth who are studying in religious minority schools. The program aims at improving their employability in organized sector and to lead better lives.  For Example, Madrasas of Muslims majorly impart religious education.
  3. Various scholarship schemes are provided for students from minority communities
  4. Central WAKF board has been constituted which are recognized by Muslim personal laws

Schemes relating to Linguistic Minorities

Linguistic minorities have not been defined in the Constitution.

  • The Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities appointed under Article 350-B of the Constitution investigates all matters relating to the safeguards provided for them in the Constitution.
  • The Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore under Ministry of Human Resource Development is implementing a scheme for protection of languages spoken by less than 10000 people

Welfare Schemes for Older Persons

National Policy for Older Persons: 

National Policy for older persons has the following objectives

  • To encourage individuals to make provisions for their own and their spouses old age
  • To encourage families to take care of their older family members
  • To bring non governmental organizations for caring older persons
  • To provide healthcare facility to the elderly
  • To create awareness regarding elderly persons and to develop them into fully independent citizens

Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS):

IGNOAPS aims to provide old age pension for persons above the age of 60 years. A pension of Rs 200 per month for beneficiaries aged 60 to 79 and Rs 500 per month for beneficiaries aged 80 years and above is provided under this scheme.


Senior citizens who are eligible under IGNOPAS but not covered by it will receive 10 kg of free rice every month.

Note: Both IGNOAPS and Annapurna are sub schemes under National Social Assistance Program.


  1. Yearbook
  2. The Hindu
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Press Information Bureau (PIB)
  5. Arthapedia


Print Friendly and PDF