Women cast outside of society receive little support from the government. While multiple schemes exist to support women who fall below the poverty line, many claim these schemes are largely inaccessible. Bloated bureaucratic systems, bribes, siphoned funds and a wide disconnect between government policy and individual citizens contribute to the inefficiency of this system.
Women are sidelined from society for a variety of cruel reasons. Disability, mental illness and other health challenges can cause her to be expelled from her community. Aged and widowed women, who can be seen as a burden on families and society, are often forced out. The social perception of a severe loss of honor, such as in a rape case, can result in the same fate. As with all cultural stigmas, women from Dalit, tribal and marginalized communities suffer these consequences in far greater margin.
As we see in Rohini’s report, several schemes exist to help these women. The Gharkhul Yojana scheme aims to provide housing for BPL individuals and families. A further scheme, Niradhar Yojana, assists individuals with disabilities and those who physically, mentally and culturally barred from earning an income. Provisions for widows are provided through this scheme. However—as Rohini reports—the intended beneficiaries of these schemes rarely see the results.
In Indian society, women are largely defined by their relationship to a family. Daughter. Wife. Mother. Those women who fall outside of these role or are extracted from a family suffer a significant loss of identity. These invisible women fall between the cracks.