Chennai: The birth anniversary of late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on February 24 will be observed as 'Girl Children Protection Day' in recognition of her yeoman service towards betterment of children, especially girls, the AIADMK government announced on Wednesday.
To honour the late leader's memory, the government will implement five new schemes, including a Rs two lakh assistance by way of bank deposit, for the welfare of destitute girl children, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said in the state assembly.
Hailing Jayalalithaa for her pioneering initiatives like the 'Cradle baby scheme' aimed at preventing female infanticide, he said such novel initiatives were continuously being implemented by the government.
The cradle scheme won accolades from Mother Teresa, he said and mentioned a string of similar measures initiated by Jayalalithaa including the 'Thalikku Thangam' (gold and financial assistance for women for their marriage) for the welfare of women and children.
"To commemorate her yeoman service for the children, especially girls, the government has decided to observe her birth anniversary on February 24 as the state Girl Children Protection Day," Palaniswami said.
When destitute children staying in government homes complete the age of 21, Rs two lakh deposit will be made in banks to help them find a footing in life on leaving the homes.
Similarly, a special assistance would be provided to girls who faced financial difficulties after leaving the state-run homes on attaining the age of 18.
This assistance would be made available till their age of 50 and it covers support to pursue higher education, skill development, getting job opportunities and measures to hone them as entrepreneurs.
The monthly financial assistance for bringing up destitute children after their adoption will be doubled to Rs 4,000 and the tenure of support will be extended to five years from the current three years, he said.
Priority will be given in specific job categories in government departments including social defence for destitute children and inmates of State-run homes (and inmates those who have completed training and left the homes) based on parameters like age and education, he said.
Noting that only in a few districts the child sex ratio (CSR) was lower than the average, he said considering this aspect, three top districts doing exemplary work to increase CSR will be encouraged by awarding gold, silver and bronze medals.