The Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise (SMILE) scheme is an initiative by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment to provide welfare and rehabilitation to the Transgender community & the people engaged in the act of begging. The scheme has been allocated Rs. 365 Crore from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
Objectives of the SMILE Scheme
Transgenders have been at the margins of society for a very long time. They have been denied opportunities and access to many aspects of society. This has led to them not being able to reach their potential and be productive citizens. Moreover, the Support for marginal individuals for livelihood and enterprise (SMILE) is a project that seeks to change this. The objectives of the scheme are as follows:
- Firstly, to enable the target groups to lead a life of dignity and respect.
- Secondly, to ensure their social inclusion and economic empowerment.
- Thirdly, to develop a mechanism for monitoring the progress of the scheme.
How to apply for a SMILE Scheme?
The process of application for the scheme shall be notified by the Ministry in due course. The target groups can further approach the concerned state nodal agencies for availing of the benefits under the scheme.
Benefits of the Scheme
- As part of the scheme, comprehensive welfare and rehabilitation measures are provided to members of the transgender community and people who beg.
- To enable transgender students to complete their education, it provides scholarships for students who are studying in IX or until post-graduation.
- With the PM-DAKSH scheme, there are provisions for Skill Development & Livelihood.
- In addition, the scheme includes a component for transgender people with health insurance.
- Transgender communities and people engaged in begging are supported by this scheme by providing dignity, social inclusion, & economic empowerment.
- Transgender Helpline and National Portal will also help in implementing the program.
- A National Transgender Protection Cell will be created to monitor cases of offences against transgender people and ensure that timely investigation, registration, and prosecution take place.
- Under the scheme, a fund called ‘Garima Greh’ will also benefit transgenders and beggars.
- Moreover, the plan also includes the provision of ‘Shelter Homes’ for the transgender community.
Monitoring and Evaluation of the SMILE Scheme
The progress of the scheme shall be monitored by a steering committee constituted by the Ministry. The committee shall meet at least once in six months to review the progress of the scheme and take necessary decisions.
This project is important not just for the transgender community, but also for India as a whole. By providing support to marginal individuals, SMILE can help them become productive members of society and contribute to India’s growth. All in all, we applaud the team behind this initiative and look forward to seeing more projects like this in the future.
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