The future of a country hinges on ensuring the generations to come are adequately represented, qualified and able to carry the mantle of development. As a nation, our past is rife with gender inequality but aiming to rectify that situation; the Government is taking steps to empower, educate and uplift the girl child.
Read on for a list of top Central and State Government policies and schemes that are targeted at improving the lives of girl child in India.
Schemes by the Central Government
Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao
Launched with initial funding of ₹100 crore the scheme aims to address the issue of the declining child sex ratio image (CSR) and is a national initiative run jointly by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
It’s focused on multi-sector action in 100 districts across the country with a low CSR.
Aims at generating awareness about the importance of girl children and improving the efficiency of welfare services intended for girls in India.
Working towards preventing female infanticide.
Under the BBBP scheme, even district-level education officials must ensure that the benefit of free elementary education reaches all the girls in their area.
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna
Part of the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign, this Government of India backed saving scheme is targeted at the parents of girl children. The programme encourages them to build a fund for future education and marriage expenses for their female child. Parents can start saving early as the minimum amount of investment required is small, and the account is active for 14 years from the date of opening the account.
It has tax benefits and an interest rate of 9.1%.
It is meant for girls under the age of 10 years.
You can start the account with just Rs 1,000.
The maximum deposit is Rs 1,50,000 per year.
Balika Samridhi Yojna
This scheme was launched by the Government of India on 15th August 1997 and covered all girls born on or after 15 August 1997 who are below the poverty line. Aimed at offering financial aid to girl children born on or after 15 August 1997, the schemes key objectives include improving the enrolment and retention of the girl child in schools and helping raise daughters until their legal age of marriage. If successful, young girls will get an education that will help them with jobs to generate a steady income.
Gift deposit of Rs 500 at birth and second fixed amount deposited every year of school she progresses until class 10.
Up to Class 3rd - Rs 300 per year
For Class 4 - Rs 500 per year
For Class 5 - Rs 600 per year
For Class 6 & 7- Rs 700 per year
For Class 8 - Rs 800 per year
For Class 9 & 10 - Rs 1000
Only one girl child per family can use this scheme.
CBSE Scholarship Scheme/Policy for Girl Education
This central government scheme is available at Government CBSE schools only. It is applicable for one girl child per family across India and aims to supplement the school tuition fee.
Relaxation of Rs 500 per month in school tuition fee.
The girl should have scored at least 60% or 6.2 CGPA in her 10th board exams.
The girl child should be the single girl child of her parents.
Her school fees should not be more than Rs 1500 a month.
State Government Sponsored Schemes for Girl Child in India
Apart from the central government, the Indian State governments also actively offer several schemes that benefit girl children. Some of these include:
• Rajshri Yojna - Rajasthan
• Girl child protection scheme - Andhra Pradesh
• Sivagami Ammaiyar Memorial girl child protection scheme - Tamil Nadu.
• Ladli Laxmi Yojana - Madhya Pradesh.
• Ladli - Delhi & Haryana
• Mukhyamantri Laadli Yojna – Uttar Pradesh
• Mukhyamantri Kanya Suraksha Yojna - Bihar
• Ladli scheme - Haryana
• Kishori Shakti Yojana - Odisha
• MAMTA scheme for girl child - Goa
• Saraswati Bicycle Scheme - Chhattisgarh.
• West Bengal Kanyashree Prakalpa - West Bengal
• Bhagyalaxmi scheme - Karnataka
While many of these programs tackle the issue of savings and education, some like the Kishori Shakti Yojana also aim to educate adolescent girls about the importance of health care. Adolescent girls get access to current and updated healthcare initiatives and learn about good hygiene. As future mothers to be, knowing about 13 life-saving vaccines that the government provides free of cost and the importance of MMR, Polio and similar vaccination is integral to their health and reducing child mortality through vaccine-preventable diseases in the future.
This is a partnered post.