The Ministry of Women and Child Development was earlier running two schemes, namely, Swadhar and Short Stay Homes to provide temporary accommodation and serve the primary needs of women in difficult circumstances in order to rehabilitate them. Since the effectiveness and the positive impact of these two schemes was similar, it was decided to merge both of these into a new scheme now known as Swadhar Greh with effect from January 01, 2016.
Swadhar Greh provides temporary residential accommodation for women victims of unfortunate circumstances with provision of food, clothing and medical facilities. It also offers vocational training and skill up-gradations for economic rehabilitation of such women, counseling, awareness generation and behavioral trainings, legal aid and guidance.
Swadhar Greh aims to cater to the primary needs of women in distress and economically and emotionally empower and rehabilitate them with institutional support. It aims to provide them with legal aid and guidance so that they can reintegrate and readjust into family and community life. It also enables such women to start their life afresh with dignity and conviction.
Swadhar Greh targets the following categories of women in difficult circumstances without economic and social support:
• Deserted women;
• Women rendered homeless due to natural calamities;
• Women ex-prisoners;
• Trafficked women/girls rescued or runaway from brothels;
• HIV/AIDS affected women;
• Women victims of domestic violence, family tension or discord driven out from their homes and facing marital litigations;
• Women victims of terrorist violence
Women affected by domestic violence can stay up to a period of one year. Women from other eligibility criteria can stay up to a maximum of 3 years.
Older women above 55 years can stay in Swadhar Greh facilities up to 5 years after which they are shifted to old age homes or similar institutions. Children accompanying women victims can also avail Swadhar Greh care and support. Girls up to 18 years and boys up to 8 years can stay with their mother victims. Boys older than 8 years are shifted to the Children Homes run under JJ Act/ICPS.
Once a woman victim arrives at the Swadhar Greh, she will be immediately provided shelter, food and other basic amenities. A case study will be prepared by a counselor with details of the nature of her victimhood in order to prescribe the type of rehabilitative services she requires. Her personal details are registered and she will be provided a Photo ID Card. Medical check-ups are arranged within 3 days of her admission.
The scheme envisages setting up of one Swadhar Greh institutional home in every district with capacity of supporting 30 women. In bigger cities and districts, more than one Swadhar Greh can be established with capacity expanded up to 50 to 100. At present, there are 551 Swadhar Greh Homes with 16,530 beneficiaries.
Swadhar Greh can be implemented by the State Government agencies, municipal bodies, cantonment boards, Panchayati Raj Institutions, registered Public Trusts and Department of Women and Child Development of the state. The state governments may also invite NGOs which are registered and have proven track record of working in women’s welfare to run the scheme.
The scheme is monitored at the district level by a Monitoring Committee consisting of the District Collector as Chairperson, Chief Medical Officer, Superintendent of Police, WCD Officer including legal representative and representatives from the Municipal/Panchayati Raj Institutions.
At least two members of the District Committee shall be women. The District Committee ensures the smooth functioning of the scheme and meet regularly to review the progress of the scheme implementation. They also review the Quarterly Progress Reports (QPR) of the Swadhar Greh Scheme sent by the implementing agencies and send recommendation if necessary for their better functioning.