Decision Maker

Maneka Gandhi

  • Union Minister For Women & Child Development

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Petitioning Arun Jaitley, JP Nadda, Maneka Gandhi

Petition to Arun Jaitley for removal of tax on sanitary napkins

India is about to cross an important milestone in implementing the GST and this has brought to the forefront a long pending demand of various activists and organisations to reduce or abolish the tax on SANITARY NAPKINS. Data in the public domain show: Only about 12% of the 355 million women use sanitary napkins. This 12% is liable to a VAT that can go up to 14% varying from state to state. In the rural area only 2% of 75% target population use it. Media reports a 12% tax is expected to be applicable even with the proposed GST  (Goods and Services Tax). In India, an estimated 70 % of women cannot afford sanitary napkins. Making it affordable It is bound to have an impact on attendance of girls in schools, adding impetus to greater women participation in our work force which is just a meager 21.9%.  Affordability, ease of availability and accessibility needs to be at the forefront of this battle. Environmental factor As the plastic used in sanitary napkins is non-biodegradable it leads to degradation of the environment.A minimal tax can be imposed on disposable sanitary napkins to dissuade its use on large scale in order to safe-guard the environment. Solution A 100% tax exemption for the production and distribution of environment and health friendly pads(reusable cloth sanitary napkins and environment friendly napkins)  will:  add impetus to the reach of the product  also help the organisations involved in the production of these pads that also gives livelihood opportunities to rural women. Why is the tax unfair? Women are being taxed 12 months a year, for about 39 years on a process they have no control over. What the government needs to do With the GST that is going to be implemented, a step needs be taken by the central government to make sanitary napkins tax free (like condoms and contraceptives) as it is an essential item which is a necessity for every woman. This step will only bolster the idea of 'Beti Bachao Beti Padao' and 'Swachh Bharat'. How you may help On the occasion of the International Women’s Day let us take a pledge for our future and the future of millions of Indian women. I request one and all to sign the petition to make way for Tax Free Wings.    

Sushmita Dev Member Of Parliament
308,049 supporters
Petitioning Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu

Implement disabled friendly measures in Indian railways

I've been groped and manhandled three separate times by porters. They were helping me board the train because Indian trains are not wheelchair accessible. I am a disabled woman living in Mumbai who loves to travel. I have had to wear a diaper because I couldn’t use the train bathroom. And when I needed to change that diaper, I had no privacy and had to wait for hours for the lights to go off at night The railways treat the disabled as a piece of luggage. This needs to stop! Sign my petition and join me in asking the railway minister and the Prime Minister to implement disabled friendly measures in Indian railways. According to The Disability Rights bill, there need to be facilities available for those with disabilities. The Railway Ministry has been talking of making trains disabled friendly but in reality, we are still humiliated every single time because of poor implementation. My fight is to ensure human dignity for the disabled. I am asking the authorities for some basic things everyone takes for granted- Accessible bathrooms with proper space inside the bathroom, clean and higher toilets, low sinks so we can easily wash our hands.  Accessible coaches for the disabled in all trains, ideally one for each class. Enough space between berths so it is easy to fit a standard size wheelchair between the berths and we can shift onto our seats when needed.  Curtains around the berths for when we need to change. Often, I've needed to change my clothes and the berths are too small for me to role around to change my clothes, as well as have no privacy. Proper infrastructure to cross railroads if needed to change platforms. Beside these infrastructure related demands, I also want an attitudinal shift in the way the disabled are treated: Sensitise people to let those with disabilities board first as the general public normally does not care about our well being. Everyone is in a rush to get to their seats. Sensitise abled-bodied persons to not board the handicapped compartment, especially in local trains. We often see that in the local train, those who are not disabled will climb in. That isn't fair. Train the drivers and TCs to halt the train till a handicapped passenger has finished boarding, especially for local trains. The local train only stops for two minutes and with all the crowd, it is very difficult to board. I want to sit down with PM Narendra Modi or the Railway Minister Mr. Suresh Prabhu and talk to them about the difficulties faced by those whom are disabled. Sign my petition and ask PM Modi and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to implement measures to make the Indian railways disabled friendly.

Virali Modi
210,286 supporters
Petitioning Maneka Gandhi

Make it mandatory for all hospitals to declare number of Caesarean deliveries #SafeBirth

Caesarean deliveries have become a business. The hospitals and doctors are making money off unsuspecting women and pushing them towards surgical deliveries. Even though serious complications were not detected, I was cut open to deliver my baby. I wanted to have a natural birth but had to undergo a C-section as it was presented to be more ’scientific, modern and risk-free’. I was misled, manipulated, confused and my choice was overriden. For many of us, the right to informed-refusal or consent during childbirth is hardly an option either due to lack of awareness or the high-handed attitude of doctors. It was a long, painful, depressing recovery for me and when I looked into this issue, what I found was alarming. India’s C-section rate is growing exponentially. The fact that private hospitals have a much higher rate of C-sections than public hospitals has a direct correlation to the fact that surgical deliveries cost so much more than normal ones in these facilities. Recent studies show that C-sections lead to a higher risk of post-partum depression and lower breastfeeding rate in women and diseases like obesity and diabetes in children. Despite its adverse effects on maternal and child health, hospitals and doctors are indiscriminately conducting C-sections to make more money. To discourage this trend, women need to be made aware of the C-section rates of different hospitals and maternity homes, so that they can choose their hospitals carefully. That’s why I, with support of the NGO Birth India, started this petition asking the Women and Child Development ministry to issue an advisory to the Medical Council of India to Make it mandatory for all doctors and hospitals to declare the percentage of Caesarean delivery rates to patients. Conduct enquiry against those with abnormally high C-section rate. Frame clear guidelines for conducting Caesarean to safeguard the health and rights of women and children World Health Organisation (WHO) norms prescribe that C-section deliveries should be ideally 10-15 per cent of the total number of deliveries in the country. However, in urban Telengana, 74.8% of the private sector deliveries are by C-section and it is as high as 41% in Kerala and it is 58% in Tamil Nadu, according to a report by the ICMR School of Public Health. It is important that even women are made aware of the impact of Caesarean sections, which truly is an emergency recourse and not a routine medical procedure. The fact is that only 10% of births should be via C-section, however, in Indian private hospitals that rate is close to 50%. This is a serious health risk and the government has to take action NOW! Sign my petition and ask the Women and Child Development ministry to end this harmful practice by hospitals. Image Courtesy: abdn.ac.uk

Subarna Ghosh
312,185 supporters
Victory
Petitioning General VK Singh

Passport for my daughter with mother´s name

I am a single parent. My Husband abandoned my daughter and me when she was born just because she was a girl. He never looked back and doesn’t even care whether we’re dead or alive.  Recently, I applied for the passport of my daughter. My daughter doesn’t want her father’s name on the document. Our application was denied and we were told that both names are required. My daughter did her schooling with my name only. Her voter ID card, Aadhar card and bank account have my name. Why was only the passport denied?  My daughter and I were forced to go through mental agony and torture. We tried to convince the passport officer, wrote letters, met senior officers but our request was denied. In the end we were forced to include his name. Every time my daughter looks at her Passport, she sees the name of a person who hurt her, who abandoned her. Single fathers and mothers face several hardships. Often there is a traumatic story behind the reason we are single. We have to work extra-hard to support our children and be there for them. The judiciary has given progressive judgments that say that the Father’s name is not required. My humble request is for the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Home Affairs to look into this matter and help single parents - fathers and mothers, so that they don’t have to go through this agony.

Priyanka Gupta
115,128 supporters
Petitioning Maneka Gandhi, Rajnath Singh

India Must Have a National Sex Offender Registry

I feel really angry! A man sexually assaulted hundreds of schoolgirls over 12 years. He was arrested once for 6 months but after he got out of jail, he continued raping young girls. Some of them were just 9-years-old.How can we as a society let this happen? I am a 26-year-old working woman and I feel appalled by the fact that every 20 minutes a woman is raped in India. Join me in asking the Home Minister and WCD minister to start a National sex offender registry to track those convicted of sex offences. After the Nirbhaya case, the country was up in arms about the safety of women. In the past 4 years, little has changed. A 6-year-old schoolgirl was raped by a gym instructor in a Bangalore school. A girl was raped by a Uber driver in Delhi who was a repeat offender and was also involved in a rape case for which he spent 7 months in jail. If there is a list compiled by the National crime bureau with all the records of convicted sex offenders, it will ensure that rapists and sexual assaulters are not employed by schools and are tracked throughout their life. In countries like the US and the UK, the sex offender registry has been hailed a success. This is because the national register has all details on the convict and tracks every update in his life. Sexual offenders have to report to authorities routinely and keep them informed about their plans. In India, there is no such centralised record. Having a sex offender registry will make it a lot easier for the police to track and apprehend serial offenders. Nirbhaya was 23 years old when she was brutally raped and killed in Delhi. We as a nation promised ourselves that we will make our country a safer place for women and children. Sign my petition and ask the government to start a national register to track those convicted of sex offences.

Madonna Rozario Jansen
88,631 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Maneka Gandhi

#JusticeForNirbhaya: Pass The Law - NewsX Campaign

The Juvenile Justice Amendment Act passed by the Lok Sabha and pending before the Rajya Sabha needs to be debated and passed immediately to ensure that Juveniles convicted of heinous crimes and not showing signs of reform can be kept in custody.

Newsx
82,081 supporters
Petitioning Maneka Gandhi, Maneka Gandhi, CBSE, ISCE , Maneka Gandhi

Teach Kids & Teachers How To Fight Sexual Abuse: Make it part of the syllabus

Trigger Warning: Content About Sexual Abuse I was 4-years-old when I was sexually abused. It was a trusted family member. I was too confused to know what was happening. When I was 8, the caretaker of my apartment molested me by pretending to play a game. My aunt laughed at me when I tried to talk to her. What happened to me continues to happen to thousands of children across the country. In these horrible times, no child is safe. That’s why I want schools in India to have compulsory Personal Safety Education. I was abused till I was 19 years old. But not one person noticed what I was going through. My education suffered and they blamed me. They didn’t see the depression. They didn’t even see the physical signs. Throughout my childhood I kept looking for a safe space. But it isn’t easy to talk about abuse in India. Children must learn how to be safe, to identify and avoid predators. Teachers and staff must learn how to identify signs of abuse and provide counselling and parents must learn how to protect their children. And should a child ever face abuse or even the possibility of abuse, they will have a teacher they can trust and safely turn to. A teacher who won’t laugh it off, who won’t ignore the warning signs, who will be there for the child. I’m asking the two largest school boards in India - CBSE and ISCE to make Personal Safety Education a compulsory part of the syllabus. This will impact lakhs of children in India. Sign my petition now so that I can show the Government, the CBSE and ISCE that lakhs of Indians want their children to be safe. Help me make this country a little bit safer for children.

Pranaadhika Sinha Devburman
62,341 supporters
Petitioning Maneka Gandhi

Penalise Schools that Fail to Safeguard Their Students

In January, a 6-year-old boy was found dead at Ryan International School, Delhi. 5 people, including school employees, were arrested and then released on bail the same day. Attacks against children in schools happen regularly across India. There is outrage and shock immediately after the incident, and then things return to normal. Sign my petition asking CBSE to penalise schools where children have been attacked, raped or killed because of a lapse in security measures. Many schools make parents sign waiver forms that declare that the school cannot be held responsible for the child’s safety and well being. Even if a student is raped or killed within school premises, the school will not be answerable. Sign my petition to make schools take responsibility for our children. We have to stop this. If all parents in our country speak up, we can get a response from CBSE, the board with the maximum number of schools across India. After that, the other boards might also act. Sign and share my petition. Do it for our children. Do it for our country’s future. ------ We are changing our ask from "Derecognising schools" to "Penalising Schools" after a lot of feedback from Parents and Teachers. We don't want parents and students to suffer because their school has lost recognition. We want schools to be worried about heavy penalties and implement standard protection for all their students. This should cover: 1. Stringent Background checks for all teachers and staff.2. Security to ensure authorised and monitored entry/exit of students/strangers/parents.3. CCTV coverage to gather evidence of any wrongdoing.4.Surprise audits of schools for safety measures.Schools to obtain a yearly certificate for safety measures.5.Incase of any security failure the offenders to be punished, institutional head and certifying authority to be heavily penalised, These are only some high-level ideas, but we can discuss more once CBSE responds. We want to the board to ensure that all schools recognised by CBSE comply with these standards or are hit by stiff penalties, especially when children in these schools are hurt or attacked.

Concerned Parent
58,759 supporters
Victory
Petitioning AWBI

Ban interstate shifting of camels from Rajasthan - Naresh Kadyan

Camels are being shifting from Rajasthan to other states for slaughter and these animals are badly abused during transportation from one place to another, there are no rules and regulations, hence OIPA in India and PFA Haryana demands introduction of strong legislation banning interstate camel transportation from Rajasthan.

Abhishek Kadyan
23,495 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Maneka Gandhi

Stop Harassing Sindhutai Sapkal; Don't Close Down Her Orphanages

Sindhutai Sapkal is called Mai by the 1000s of children who she has helped raise through her numerous orphanages across Maharashtra. Today she is being asked to shut down her orphanages by the state government. Sign my petition to prevent over a 1000 children from being forcibly returned to government orphanages. These government orphanages are severely underfunded and overpopulated. There is no room for these children and their lives will be destroyed by this hasty decision.  Sindhutai Sapkal has dedicated her whole life to bringing up orphaned children with singular dedication and devotion. The quality upbringing she provides these children - including food, stay and education - has led to many of these children growing up to become lawyers and doctors. Many of  you may have seen the Marathi biopic on her life : Mee Sindhutai Sapkal.  She has been honoured with numerous awards including the prestigious Holkar award by the Government of Maharashtra. Now the same Government is targeting her, sabotaging her incredible work. Sindhutai has been trying to get her orphanages registered since 2011. The Government made her run around and refused to cooperate. Now they want to shut her down for not being registered. This amazing woman even got her own daughter admitted in an orphanage so that she could be fair to all the children. Now, all her sacrifices and her hard work will go to waste because of cruel and indifferent Government bureaucracy that doesn’t seem to care about the children at all. Sign my petition asking CM Devendra Fadnavis and Central Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi to help Sindhutai continue her great work. Support this campaign to defend someone who has devoted her entire life to doing good for others. Do it so that people like us are not scared to do good for society.

Sucheta Dalal
20,910 supporters
Petition to Arun Jaitley for removal of tax on sanitary napkins

Dear people, I received a Change.org petition from Lok Sabha Member of Parliament Sushmita Dev which all of you had signed. I have written to Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley ji on this issue seeking his intervention. This is an important issue faced by all women and girls. There is still a lot of stigma and embarrassment around menstruation in our society. A large majority of women also face a challenge in availability of safe, hygienic and low cost sanitary napkins. This often leads to hazards of hygiene, higher dropout rates in schools and negative environmental impact. We need to find ways to make affordable sanitary napkins available to all women to ensure their health and well being. I have requested Shri Jaitley ji to consider 100% tax exemption for production of eco-friendly and bio-degradable sanitary napkins. Once lower cost option are made available to women, we could consider slowly moving them towards using bio-degradable pads and we could also encourage the manufacturers to shift towards them. I strongly believe a tax exemption for sanitary pads will also bolster the Honourable Prime Minister’s “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” and “Swachh Bharat” initiatives. This will also encourage more girls to continue their school education and more women to participate in the work force. I would like you to remain updated about the work done by my Ministry. Please follow us on twitter @ministrywcd and @manekagandhibjp page. Please also follow us on our Facebook page facebook.com/manekagandhiofficial & facebook.com/ministrywcd. Thank you, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Union Minister For Women and Child Development

9 months ago
The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill

Dear Petitioners, I had noticed many petitions from you all through Change.org asking for the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill to be passed. I am delighted to inform that the Lok Sabha has passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill today. With the assent of Honourable President of India, which should happen in the next few days, all working women will become entitled to maternity leave for a period of 26 weeks. This will enable them to exclusively breast-feed the child for 6 months which is critical for the good health of the child. The mother will also be able to take care of her own health and fully recuperate before she goes to work back. This benefit will be available for two children. In the event of a working woman having more children, she will still be entitled for leave for 12 weeks. Maternity leave of 12 weeks will also be available to adopting and commissioning mothers. This is a historic decision taken by our government. I had requested Honourable Minister for Labour to make these changes in relevant laws and I am grateful to him for taking up my request. While congratulating all working women who are planning to have a child, I assure you that we will continue to work for women in the country. I would like you to remain updated about the work done by the Ministry. Please follow us on @ministrywcd and @manekagandhibjp. Please also follow us on our facebook page facebook.com/manekagandhiofficial & facebook.com/ministrywcd Thank you, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Union Minister for Women and Child Development

9 months ago
Make it mandatory for all hospitals to declare number of Caesarean deliveries #SafeBirth

Dear People, I am in receipt of a petition on Change.org initiated by Subarna Ghosh from Mumbai. She brings to my notice that lakhs of people are concerned about an important issue related to maternal health - the alarming rise of Caesarean deliveries in the country in recent years. The petition raises some serious questions and shows that C-section surgeries in our hospitals are almost becoming a scam. I am writing to the Ministry of Health to urgently look into this matter. This issue has a direct linkage not only with the cost of health care but with the health of women per se. Obviously doctors on the ground are playing with the health of prospective mothers and their new born children. The Health Ministry under Shri Nadda ji has just recently taken up a commendable initiative of reducing the cost of stents. I am requesting them to take up this matter also, on priority. Many approaches are required to tackle this problem. One of them clearly is to mandate hospitals and nursing homes publicly display the number of c-section deliveries vis-a-vis normal deliveries. In collaboration with the Health Ministry, the WCD Ministry plans to undertake a large outreach campaign with the Medical community as well as prospective mothers. I would like you to remain updated about the work done by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. * Please follow us on twitter @ministrywcd and @manekagandhibjp. * Please also follow us on our Facebook page facebook.com/manekagandhiofficial & facebook.com/ministrywcd Thank you, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Union Minister for Women and Child Development

10 months ago
Implement disabled friendly measures in Indian railways

Dear people, I have seen a petition by Ms. Virali Modi, a person with disability based in Mumbai. She says she has been facing a lot of problems during travel by rail and has pointed out various issues of accessibility at railway stations as well as trains for wheel chair bound persons. The Ministry of Railways under the leadership of Sh Suresh Prabhu ji has been conscious of this issue. However, keeping in view the desirability of facilitating comfortable travel for disabled persons, I am writing to Sh Suresh Prabhu ji to request him to take up the required changes in mission mode. I would like you to remain updated about the work done by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. * Please follow us on twitter @ministrywcd and @manekagandhibjp. * Please also follow us on our Facebook page facebook.com/manekagandhiofficial & facebook.com/ministrywcd Thank you, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Union Minister for Women and Child Development

10 months ago
Passport for my daughter with mother´s name

Dear People, I am pleased to inform you that new rules for obtaining passports have been announced by the Ministry of External Affairs which will make it much easier for children of single parents to apply for passports. These rules were notified based on the recommendations of a three-member Committee comprising of the officials of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Women and Child Development. This committee was set up after I forwarded Priyanka Gupta’s petition on Change.org to the Minister of External Affairs Smt. Sushma Swaraj and asked her to get the necessary modifications done. Based on the committee's recommendations rules have also been simplified for children who are adopted, orphaned or born out of wedlock. I welcome the Ministry of External Affairs decision to simplify the rules and appreciate their cooperation with the Ministry of Women and Child Development. I also appreciate all of you who supported the petition on Change.org and brought it to my notice. I would like you to remain updated about the work done by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Please follow us on twitter @ministrywcd and @manekagandhibjp. Please also follow us on our Facebook page facebook.com/manekagandhiofficial & facebook.com/ministrywcd Thank you, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Minister for Women and Child Development

12 months ago
Free Education For Children of India's Martyrs

I have received this petition from Change.org on behalf of the children of Uri martyrs wherein they have requested that their children should be provided free education. As of now the petition has been signed by over 70,000 people. Our soldiers have made supreme sacrifices in their call of duty to protect our country. Taking care of the cost of educating their children will be a small part of our gratitude toward them. I have written to the Minister for HRD requesting him to consider the petition favourably. I would like you to remain updated about the work done by the Ministry. Please follow us on twitter @ministrywcd and @manekagandhibjp page. Please also follow us on our Facebook page facebook.com/manekagandhiofficial & facebook.com/ministrywcd. Thank you, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Union Minister For Women and Child Development

1 year ago
Passport for my daughter with mother´s name

Dear People, I have received a petition from Change.org where a mother and daughter have insisted that father's name should not be mentioned in the passport. The petition involved a case where the father had abandoned the mother and the Court had granted custody of the child to the mother. The current guidelines for passports warrant the name of the father as a mandatory requirement. The Delhi High Court in May 2016 stated that it was not essential to mention the father's name if the mother and child so desired. Statistics reveal that number of single parents in the country is increasing both by way of conscious decision or by breakdown of marriages. I have asked the Minister for External Affairs Smt. Sushma Swaraj to get necessary modifications done in the rules for issuance of passports. I would like you to remain updated about the work done by the Ministry. Please follow us on twitter @ministrywcd and @manekagandhibjp. Please also follow us on our Facebook page facebook.com/manekagandhiofficial & facebook.com/ministrywcd Thank you, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Union Minister For Women and Child Development

1 year ago
Stop Harassing Sindhutai Sapkal; Don't Close Down Her Orphanages

Dear People, I am glad to inform you that the Sindhutai matter has been resolved. I am happy that there are people like Sindhutai in this country. Unfortunately, in some cases, people who do excellent work on the ground are unable to do their paperwork properly. She and many others who run orphanages, day-care centres and other institutions dealing with children, have been asked to register with us. This is because we want to make more and more children adoptable. Currently, there are thousands of children who are outside the system and missing out the opportunity to find a loving home. Sindhutai did not register herself, leading to this situation. Now, because of this Change.org petition and all of you, this issue has been brought to my notice. We are helping the registration process in consultation with Sindhutai and the state Government of Maharashtra. Lastly, I would encourage you to write to Sindhutai and ask her to fill the documents. I would like you to remain updated about the work done by the Ministry. Please follow us on twitter @ministrywcd and @manekagandhibjp page. Please also follow us on our Facebook page facebook.com/manekagandhiofficial & facebook.com/ministrywcd. Thank you, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Union Minister For Women and Child Development

1 year ago
Teach Kids & Teachers How To Fight Sexual Abuse: Make it part of the syllabus

Dear People, Thank you for asking for something that should actually have been done many years ago. When I became a Minister, I made a short film called ‘Komal’, about "good touch bad touch". I would like each and everyone of you to download it and take it to your school or your children’s school. Play this film in every school and use it to educate children about safety. I cannot do this alone. All of us need to reach out and be part of the change. I am also starting an E-box where any child can give his or her complaint about molestation. All complaints will be confidential and action will be taken on every complaint. If you are an adult who knows that a child is being molested, you can also use the E-box to make a complaint. We are currently in the process of refining the E-box. As soon as it comes up, we will update you. I would like you to remain updated about the work done by the Ministry. Please follow us on twitter @ministrywcd and @manekagandhibjp page. Please also follow us on our Facebook page facebook.com/manekagandhiofficial & facebook.com/ministrywcd. Thank you, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Union Minister For Women and Child Development

1 year ago