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A study on the condition of low-income single women in India says that just over 26 percent of separated or divorced women apply for maintenance due to illiteracy.

 The study, titled ‘Are we forgotten women’, by NGO National Forum for Single Women’s Rights was conducted in 2009-2010. It was made public Tuesday at a press conference.

 The study states that after being separated or divorced, 36.6 percent women do not have ration cards or voter cards and only 13.5 percent receive social security pensions.

 It reveals that only 21 percent single women in India have been recognised by the government as ‘below poverty line’.

The report is based on a study conducted across six states — Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Rajasthan — on the condition of low-income single women.

 Ginny Shrivastava, founder of the forum, said the government should launch effective schemes to help single women to find a safe shelter for themselves.

 ‘Only 12.7 percent women could benefit from government housing schemes like the Indira Awaas Yojna, and of these, most were widows. There is no scheme or provision for ensuring shelter to single women in urban areas.’

 Referring to the report, Shrivastava said that 56 percent of women born into land-owing families do not get share in the property.

The report also has a brief study of pension provided to widowed women from the central and state government, which it said is almost negligible.

 While in Bihar it is Rs.200 per month, in Gujarat it is Rs.500, Himachal Pradesh Rs.330 and Jharkhand Rs.400.

 Shrivastava and other team members said they are in talks with the government to increase the pension amount in accordance with the present price index.

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