Patna: It’s raining gifts for the women in Bihar. In a fresh development, the ruling Grand Alliance (GA) government in Bihar headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar has announced 35 per cent reservation to women in allotment of Public Distribution System (PDS) shops.
The state government made this announcement at a function held on Wednesday to mark International Women’s Day.
“The government has now decided to grant reservation to the women folk in allotment of PDS shops. The idea is to empower the female class and make them stand on their feet,” Bihar food and consumer affairs minister Madan Sahani told the media on Wednesday evening.
As per an official report, there are around 42,000 PDS shops in Bihar. Of them, 13,681 shops are yet to be allotted to beneficiaries. Now the state government has asked the senior officials to make allotment of these shops according to the new reservation system.
Last year, the state government had granted 35 per cent reservation to women in all government jobs for what the authorities said would boost women empowerment in the state. The decision was in line with GA’s pre-poll promise to grant 35 per cent reservation for women in appointment in all government jobs, both reserved and unreserved categories, should its government came to power.
Bihar is one of very few states where women have been granted reservation in various sectors. So far, the state government has already granted 50 per cent reservation each in local bodies’ polls and appointment in teaching jobs, as well as 35 per cent reservation in police jobs. The government’s fresh move to grant 35 per cent reservation in all government jobs is in addition to above facilities.
“These will help end the gender bias and empower women in the state,” said Upendra Nath Singh, general secretary of the Bihar Secretariat Services Association. He added the initial steps taken by the state government towards women empowerment had yielded positive results as was evident from the increased number of enrolments of girls in schools and colleges.
The state government has suddenly become sensitive towards the problems of the women folk and has already banned sale and consumption of liquor in Bihar aimed at checking domestic violence. The women class had for long been protesting on the streets seeking a ban on liquor sale.