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Girls are the future of the nation. They have an equal hand in the nation’s progress, ensuring the well-being of the entire country. In order to ensure that each girl child is able to contribute towards nation-building, the Government of India, along with the state governments, has launched several schemes to enhance the education of girl children and enable them to partake in the nation’s growth.
Benefits of Government Implemented Schemes for the Girl Child
Government Schemes have proven to be helpful in reducing female feticide and infanticide rates, by proving that a girl child is not a burden on her parents. Moreover, these schemes also ensure that girl children are more independent once they reach adulthood. Here are some of the benefits of these schemes:
1. High-Interest Rates
The interest rates on FDs and accounts in these schemes are higher, as compared to other national and state banks. This allows for more savings.
2. Clear Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions for each scheme is clearly mentioned, with no scope for ambiguity. The lock-in period ensures that premature withdrawals do not occur and that the savings are used for girl child only, whether for marriage or higher education.
3. Tax Savings
Most government schemes exempt Income Tax from the associated accounts. This ensures tax efficient savings that prove to be beneficial to the girl child, in the future.
Various Government Schemes for Girl Child
It is an integral part of general awareness to know about the central and state-specific schemes, as well as the joint collaboration schemes between the centre and state. The Ministries of Government of India have introduced various schemes from time to time, offering financial incentives to girl children, to enable parents to provide proper education, have enough savings for marriage, get subsidies and loans, and avail quotas. Some of the schemes announced by the government are explained below for the advantage of the parents.
1. Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana : (SSY)
Sukanya Samriddhi account is a famous and popular scheme backed by the Government of India. As part of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign started by the Government, this is a saving scheme for the benefit of the girl child. The scheme secures the future of girl children, by encouraging parents to build a fund, to meet the expenditure for the education and marriage of their girl child. It has a number of benefits, which are mentioned below.
The Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana account pays a quarterly interest for each financial year. The interest rate offered in this is the highest, when compared to other small saving schemes. This scheme is also one of the most tax-saving ones. One of the best features of this scheme is the provision of a lock-in period. You can certainly build an adequate amount to provide a bright future for your girl child. The account can also be transferred to another place if required.
The account can be opened by legal guardians or parents of a girl child, only. The age of the girl child should not be more than ten years. A certificate for proof of age has to be submitted, along with the form. Only two accounts can be opened by parents or legal guardians of the child. An amount of Rs 250/- is required to open the account. After completion of 21 years, the account can be closed.
How to Apply:
It can be opened in any authorised commercial bank or any post office. The birth certificate has to be attached. Some identity proof, such as passport, ration card, driving license or PAN card of the depositor needs to be submitted. The address proof of the depositor is also required. Once the account is opened, a passbook is issued to the person for carrying on further transactions.
Launched by the central government, it is a wonderful scheme for the ones who start early to plan for their daughter’s education and wedding.
2. Balika Samridhi Yojana: (BSY)
The Balika Samridhi Yojana, specifically for the upliftment of girls, is a small saving deposit scheme launched by Government of India in August ’97 to change the attitude of the community towards female child at birth, retain and enrol girl children in schools, and assist a girl to take up income generating activities. It is being implemented in both urban and rural areas.
Each girl is entitled to Rs.500/- post birth and also receives a scholarship for successfully completing set years of schooling. The amount of scholarship can be deposited in an interest-bearing account, and the maximum possible rate of interest is ensured. No premature withdrawal is allowed, and it matures when the girl turns eighteen years of age.
Newborn babies or infants are included in this scheme. The maximum age limit is ten years, as per the rules. Two accounts – one for each daughter is allowed in the scheme. In rural areas, children from families below the poverty line are taken into consideration, and in urban cities, children living in slum areas, or rag pickers, flower sellers, vegetable/ fish sellers, and pavement dwellers are eligible for it.
How to Apply:
The account can be opened only by the biological parents of the girl child. The account can be handled by parents or legal guardians. Once the girl turns 18, she has the right to operate the account, and no intervention is required from the parents, thereafter. Applications can be obtained from Aanganwadi workers for rural areas and nearest Health Functionaries for urban areas.
It is a scheme launched by the Government of India, for the welfare of female babies.
3. Mukhyamantri Rajshri Yojana (MRY)
To curb the rate of female feticide and provide proper medical care and education, the state government of Rajasthan has launched this programme called Mukhya Mantri Rajshri Yojana. The scheme Mukhyamantri Rajshri Yojana aims at educating and financially assisting families, so that they can care for their girl child. The scheme helps in spreading positivity about the girl child.
The first instalment of Rs.2,500/- is given to the mother of a newly born girl child, by the respective medical centre. After completing one year, with all vaccinations done, the second instalment of 2.500/- is given through a cheque. At the time of admission in any public school in grade I, Rs.4.000/- is paid to the girl child. To encourage the girl child to continue studying, Rs.5.000/- is paid to girls in grade VI and Rs. 11,000/- to girls in Grade XI.
Only girl children are allowed to avail of this scheme. The child must be born in the state of Rajasthan. Children who are born after 1st June’16 are eligible to acquire the benefits of the scheme.
How to Apply:
Any parent who is interested in the scheme should contact the government hospitals. Then the applicant should contact the health officials regarding the same. Applicants can also contact the Collector’s office, Gram Panchayat or Zila Parishad.
The Mukhyamantri Rajshri Yojana is a state Government Scheme, launched by the State of Rajasthan, under the able guidance of Smt. Vasundhara Raje.
4. Mukhyamantri Laadli Yojana (MLY)
In order to boost the female sex ratio, financial assistance is provided to BPL (Below Poverty Line) families in Jharkhand state, through the Mukhyamantri Laadli Yojana. This scheme ensures gender equality and creates awareness on women’s rights. The scheme aims at making girls independent. The girls not only get an interim payment, but also receive a large amount of money at the age of 21.
It is a state government initiative, in which Rs.6000/- is deposited every year in the name of the girl child, in the post office savings account. This is done for a period of five years. When the child starts attending school, she will receive Rs. 2,000, Rs. 4000, and Rs. 7,500 in grades VI, IX, and XI, respectively. In the higher secondary classes, girls are given a monthly stipend of Rs 200/-so that they do not have to depend on others for their needs in their teenage years. At 21 years of age, the deposited amount will mature and can be used at the time of marriage. The scheme can be availed by parents with one or two daughters only.
This scheme can be availed by families from the BPL category in Jharkhand.
How to Apply:
You should contact the District Social welfare Officer.
This novel scheme has been launched by the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Jharkhand.
5. Mazi Kanya Bhagyashree Scheme (MKBS)
In 2016, the government of Maharashtra started a new scheme to replace the old Sukanya scheme called Mazi Kanya Bhagyashree scheme. Under this scheme, the economically weaker group or BPL category families are given financial assistance by the state government for survival and education of daughters. The brand ambassador for this scheme is a popular actress Bhagyashree. The name of the scheme is from her name.
The key benefit of the Mazi Kanya Bhagyashree scheme is that it will help families receive financial aid to send their girls to attend schools in Maharashtra. A mother will get Rs.5,000/- for the first five years after her daughter’s birth. Then the child will get Rs.2,500/- per year until she reaches Grade V and then Rs.3000/- per year until she reaches Grade XII. After attaining 18 years of age, she will be entitled to Rs. 1 lakh per year of her education. The payouts are planned to fund many of the costs associated with further studies
Financial assistance will be given to couples who have one or more girls. They have to belong to the BPL category or the economically weaker section of society, in order to stay supported or under control. The child should be 18 years of age to receive Rs. 1 lakh. Only citizens of the state are eligible to apply.
How to Apply:
Application forms are available online which are handled at any municipal corporation station or Gram Panchayat office. A domicile certificate of the State of Maharashtra, child’s birth certificate, income certificate of parents, BPL card or ration card, and bank passbook of the child with IFSC code have to be provided at the time of registration.
This scheme has been launched by the State Government of Maharashtra to control the increasing population and also promote the birth of female children.
6. Nanda Devi Kanya Yojana: (KY)
The State government of Uttarakhand, in association with the Women and Child Welfare Department, has launched the scheme, Nanda Devi Kanya Yojana, to provide financial help to couples with one girl child. A fixed deposit of Rs.1,500/- is made in the name of the newly born girl child in the state. The amount is given to the girl when she attains 18 years of age and completes her high school examination. The government has taken this good initiative for female children.
The scheme helps to provide monetary assistance to families with one girl child. It helps develop a positive attitude towards girl childbirth, improves health and educational status of the girls, prevents female feticide, minimises child marriages, and provides them with a better future.
The applicant should be a resident of the state of Uttarakhand. The parents’ income should be below Rs.42,000/- for urban areas and Rs.36,000/- in rural areas. The applicant should have the BPL status card. Only two girls from each family can avail the benefits of the scheme.
How to Apply:
The applicant should visit the nearest Aanganwadi Kendra in the state. They should contact the Women Empowerment and Child Development in Uttarakhand State.
The Nanda Devi Kanya Yojana has been launched by the state of Uttarakhand.
7. Mukhyamantri Kanya Suraksha Yojana: (MKS)
This scheme Mukhyamantri Kanya Suraksha Yojana was launched in the state of Bihar to provide financial assistance to the girls of BPL families who are born after November, 2007. The birth of every girl child is to be registered within a year, and Rs.2000/- is given after showing the birth registration certificate. The scheme was introduced as an alliance between Bihar government and UTI mutual fund. The most attractive feature of the scheme is that the consolidated amount will be given to the girl child after she attains adulthood.
Financial assistance is provided by the state to the first two girls in a family, who belong to below poverty line and are born after November 2007. When the girl attains 18 years of age, the amount equal to the maturity value is given to the girl. If the girl dies in the intervening period, the amount is supposed to be paid back to the Women Development Corporation, Patna.
The conditions to avail the benefits are that two girl children from BPL category should be born after November 2007. The birth registration should have been done within a year of the birth.
How to Apply:
The applicant is expected to contact the Child Development Project Officer of the respective area or district. Couples who are keen to avail the benefits should contact the Aanganwadi Centre that is made the nodal centre for this purpose, and the scheme should be applied through Directorate of Social Welfare, Bihar.
The scheme is highly popular in the state of Bihar.
8. CBSE Scholarship Scheme
The Central Board of Secondary Education has launched a scholarship for single girl children who pass their Standard X Examination from a CBSE affiliated school with minimum 60% marks. It is a Central Government scheme to boost female education in India. This scholarship is to identify the efforts of parents in promoting education among girls and to provide a financial boost to deserving and meritorious students. The scholarship will be given to girls who are studying in schools where the tuition fee is less than Rs.1,500/- per month. The selected students get a scholarship of Rs.500/- per month.
The scholarship distinguishes the efforts of the parents who support education among girls with an excellent academic record, but lack resource and money. It offers some relaxation in the school tuition fee. It indirectly promotes the idea to have a single girl child.
The applicant should be an Indian national, single girl child with 60% marks or 6.2 CGPA in Grade X Exam, and will continue her higher education in any CBSE affiliated school. The scholarship of Rs.500/- is paid for a phase of two years only. The scholarship payment is made through Demand draft / ECS
How to Apply:
Interested candidates should apply online for CBSE Merit Scholarship for Single Girl Child through the official website. Details, such as Certificate number and Roll number should be clearly mentioned. Duly filled applications must be enclosed in an envelope and ‘MERIT SCHOLARSHIP FOR SGC X’ should be superscribed on it and sent to the CBSE office.
This scholarship is given to meritorious students, and the scheme has been undertaken and promoted by Government of India.
These different schemes are a step to ensure parents and families that girls are not to be considered a burden, but instead they should a backing for them. Apart from government schemes, there are other schemes launched by private banks to benefit to the girl child. Some Central Government and State Government schemes for promoting girl child are explained, to help any person in need of information.