Interim Budget 2024: Empowering Youth and Women, Addressing Health Issues

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Interim Budget 2024: Empowering Youth and Women, Addressing Health Issues

Budget 2024 : Finance Minister Brought Many Schemes for Women Empowerment

The Interim Budget 2024 was officially presented by the Minister of Finance of India, Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday, 1st February 2024. This budget was focused on youth and women empowerment. Through the interim budget, she has shared a visionary roadmap in which she has covered numerous topics that need to be addressed.  During her live speech, she talked about the poor health condition of women and the need to bolster this issue. During her speech, she covered several topics and highlighted the importance of improving the health sector in the context of females. In this regard, she announced a vaccination drive for young females and urged women to participate in health programmes. 

In a vaccination drive, 9 to 14-year-old girls will be vaccinated to fight against cervical cancer. It is one of the second-most common health issues among women in India and the fourth-most common cancer in women globally. As per the reports, in 2020 more than 604,000 new cases have been registered daily and 342,000 deaths due to Cervical cancer. To hold a clutch on this serious health issue, the Finance Minister states “Our government will encourage vaccination for girls from the age group of 9 to 14 years for the prevention of cervical cancer.

“Numerous schemes for maternal child care will be brought under one comprehensive programme for synergy in implementation.”All maternity and child healthcare programmes will be combined into one extensive plan as part of a shift towards more efficient healthcare services. This attempts to promote a comprehensive approach to women’s healthcare by streamlining services, getting rid of duplication, and increasing the overall impact of these activities. Furthermore, the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman also announced the changes the department is planning to bring to the program “Saksham Anganwadi” and the implementation of Poshan 2.0. 

All these initiatives are broadly focused on early childhood care and improving nutrition delivery, covering crucial aspects of the well-being of women and children. Simply put, these initiatives will be helpful to bring necessary changes in women’s and children’s health care. During the presentation of the paperless budget in the Lok Sabha, the FM stated “Upgrades of Anganwadi centres under Poshan 2.0 and ‘Saksham Anganwadi’ will be expedited for improved early childhood care, development and nutrition delivery. In the latest budget, FM announced an increase in the scope of Ayushman Yojana. In her speech, she added that Anganwadi assistants, workers, and ASHA workers will also be part of the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

The workers and assistants of Anganwadi and ASHA will get the benefit of the free treatment facility. She said that facilities will also be accessible in the medical colleges of the nation. As per the announcement, under Ayushman Yojana, the family will be getting free treatment facilities that will be up to Rs 5 lakh. To increase women’s empowerment, the FM of India declared a target that has been laid down to build 3 crore Lakhpati Didis in the next 5 years. Apart from that, under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, eligible families will get the expenses for tests a week before admission and up to 10 days after discharge. 

Several serious health issues including kidney and cancer disease will be treated under the “Ayushman Bharat Scheme”. Besides, Nirmala Sitharaman states that the Interim Budget 2024 would mainly focus on 4 ‘castes’- Poor, Youth, Farmers and Women. She said “The needs, aspirations, and welfare of these four castes are our highest priority. The country progresses when they progress. All 4 require and receive government support in their quest to better their lives. The well-being and empowerment will drive the country forward.”

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