NEW DELHI: In a bid to encourage women to join the work force, the government has proposed to make it mandatory for all employers to open creches for children of working mothers at their places of employment.
The provisions for opening creches at present are there in many labour acts like the plantation workers act and the also in the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act. But, they are not being implemented properly.
“What we are now trying to do is to make it mandatory for employers to provide creches at all working places irrespective of the industry,” a senior official in the Women and Child Development Ministry told Express.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development has already sent a proposal on this to the committee of secretaries, which is headed by the cabinet secretary.
A pilot project is being launched in Rajasthan from next month.
The government is already running the Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme, under which around 22,000 child care centres are being run across the country.
“But this is grossly less than the number of such facilities actually required in the country,” the official said.
The proposal for setting up the creches has been finalised by an inter-ministerial group which included representatives from the Labour Ministry, Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry as well as the Women and Child Development Ministry.
While in urban areas, local bodies like municipalities would be roped in to help set up creches, in rural areas the responsibility of providing support would lie with the Panchayats and the Gram Sabhas.
“We are also exploring the possibility of setting up creches as part of the corporate social responsibility initiative of private companies”.