Empowerment of women is closely linked with the country’s energy economy and this goal is driving investments in the entire value chain. As a measure towards empowerment of poor women in the country who are bereft of access to clean cooking gas, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has launched Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in the form of a social movement, enabling social change and irreversible empowerment of women.
Today we have achieved another milestone under PMUY Scheme by adding 7-croreth beneficiary in the Ujjwala family. Ujjwala yojana is empowering women to lead smoke-free lives, leading to a healthier lifestyle, saving them time by greatly reducing drudgery and enabling them to pursue other income enhancement and socially rewarding pursuits.
To take this initiative forward, Pradhan Mantri LPG panchayats as peer learning platforms, are providing support, catalysing behaviour changes in Ujjawala beneficiaries and also encouraging safe and sustainable use of LPG. As many as 87,876 LPG panchayats have been conducted across the country.
Ujjwala Didi, a CSR handholding initiative, aims at creating a force of 10,000 grassroot educators who can take the three messages till the last mile, viz. (i) Clean Cooking Fuel is to be universally available, (ii) Clean Cooking fuel is affordable and (iii) LPG is safe to use and insured. Ujjwala Didis will facilitate refill, address any fear around LPG safety, help in resolving any grievances and facilitate new connections. Thus these empowered women will contribute to overall women empowerment in their panchayats. Ujjwala Didis are a living testimony of the highest possibilities of inclusive development.
Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has been at the forefront in encouraging women to strive forward without fear or discrimination and promoting women in leadership roles in challenging environment and difficult remote locations including offshore platforms. At the world's highest Indane LPG bottling plant situated at 11,800 ft. in Phey Village of Ladakh district, it is women power that is playing a key role in the running of the plant. The plant is operated by 11 courageous Indian Oil women in very harsh weather conditions.
In an endeavour to provide better sanitation coverage and bridge gender disparity, the Ministry has proactively undertaken an action plan to provide separate toilet facilities at all retail outlets of Oil Marketing Companies. More than 37,000 ROs are already having separate toilet facilities for men and women.
Under the Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan, to reduce the drop-out rate among girl students due to non-availability of separate toilet facilities, Oil CPSEs/JVs have constructed more than 20,187 school toilets. These toilets are used by more than 5 lakh girl students. More than 95% of the toilets have been constructed in rural areas.
In an effort towards creating awareness on Menstrual Hygiene, CPSEs under Ministry of Petroleum, have taken initiatives towards installing sanitarily napkin vending machines and incinerators in various schools across India.
Recognizing the importance of women and their contribution to society, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas reaffirms its commitment for ‘economic empowerment’, ‘self-reliance’ and ‘social equality’ of women across the country.