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In the process of poverty eradication and reducing gender discrimination, the government has been implementing various policies and schemes providing means towards women's development and empowerment. The improvement in means of communication, the spread of education and a host of government policies favouring the deprived classes effect greatly while weakening the caste system which contributed to altering the nature of social relationships. This viewpoint was made in a concrete sense with the concept of planning at the national level in 1950. In the first two Five Year Plans, an effort was made to give relief to the people living Below Poverty Line (BPL) in a perpetual state of neglect for centuries out of which majority were the Dalit, and surprisingly more than their proportion into the total population. The women face discrimination in access to a dignified life, for legal redressal, for equal wages, for her right in the decision-making process, and also to get benefits from the schemes initiated by the government for their welfare.
**Associate Professor & HOD History, JC DAV College, Dasuya (Hoshiarpur)
 M N Srinivas, “An Obituary on Caste as a System” in Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 38, No. 5 (February 1-7, 2003) p. 457
 Anil Kumar Bhardwaj, Schemes for Welfare of Scheduled Castes in Punjab: A Study in Gandhian Perspective (Unpublished Ph. D Thesis), 2000: Panjab University, Chandigarh, p. 111