The Department of Biotechnology’s women’s programme with its current focus on Women’s health, hygiene and nutrition have supported impactful projects on cervical cancer screening, genetic disorder & counseling, pregnancy-related complications, breast cancer screening & post-operative care and so on.
While education on menstrual hygiene, cervical cancer & preventive measures were conducted in several villages involving more than 2,000 women, including school girls, around 5,000 women were offered cervical cancer screening services through village based camps.
A project for awareness, counseling, screening & education to prevent genetic and congenital disorder has been implemented in West Bengal and a web based portal (www.genomegyan.com) on genetics has been developed to popularize it as a subject among medical students and physicians. In a recently supported network project on Breast Cancer Screening, four districts of North-East, namely Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura were covered along with Cancer Foundation of India, Kolkata as coordinating organization.
Their recent focus on Women health, hygiene and nutrition also includes maternal & new born care & management. Some of the projects supported under the scheme also resulted in sustainable income generation models for adoption in different regions.
The programme aspires to create appropriate employment opportunities, enhance skill development, improving the health, sanitation and nutrition status thereby empowering women both socially and economically. It supports projects in diverse areas for livelihood generation such as bio-fertilizer production, vermicomposting, apiculture, poultry & animal husbandry, fish production and rearing, mushroom cultivation, sericulture, post-harvest processing, use of quality planting materials, etc., in socially and ecologically compatible manner. The team of scientists worked under the scheme Biotechnology based programme for Women, created visible impact among the women by providing large number of benefits to the women, both rural and urban, through diffusion of proven and field tested biotechnological interventions.
Besides, the Department also supports “Biotechnology Career Advancement and Re-Orientation Programme” for the career development of employed and unemployed women scientists for whom it is the first extramural research grant. It also supports building capacity of women scientists employed fulltime in Universities and small research laboratories and unemployed women scientists after a career break helping them to undertake independent R&D projects. Till now more than 100 women have been supported for R&D in different areas of Life Sciences/biology.