Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (D W C R A) 


Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (D W C R A)     

The Development of Women and children in rural areas (DWCRA) programme was launched as a sub-component of IRDP and a centrally sponsored scheme of the Department of Rural Development with UNICEF cooperation to strengthen the women’s component of poverty alleviation programmes.  It is directed at raising the income levels of women of poor households so as to enable their organized participation in social development towards economic self reliance.  The DWCRA’s primary thrust is on the formation of groups of 15 to 20 women form poor household at the village level for delivery of services like credit and skill training, cash and infrastructural support for self employment.  Through the strategy of group formation, the programme aims to improve women’s access to basic services of health, education, child care, nutrition and sanitation.  It is merged with S.G.S.Y. SWARNAJAYANTI GRAMA SWAROJAGAR YOJANA since 01.04.1999.

1. The special scheme of Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA) aims at strengthening the gender component of IRDP.

2. It was started in the year 1982-83, on a pilot basis, in 50 districts and has now been extended to all the districts of the country.

3. DWCRA is directed at improving the living conditions of women and, thereby, of children through the provision of opportunities for self-employment and access to basic social service.


1. The main strategy adopted under this programme is to facilitate access for poor women to employment, skill up gradation, training, credit and other support services so that the DWCRA women as a group can take up income generating activities for supplementing their incomes.

2. It seeks to encourage collective action in the form of group activities that are known to work better and are more sustainable than the individual effort.  It encourages the habit of thrift and credit among poor rural women to make them self-reliant.

3. The programme also envisages that this target group would be the focus for convergence of other services like family welfare, health care nutrition, education, childcare, safe drinking water, sanitation and shelter to improve the welfare and quality of life of the family and the community.

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