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Introduction

Girls and women have been subjected to centuries of discrimination in a patriarchal society. That has been slowly changing and there is an increased awareness about equality towards girl children and providing them with equal opportunity in society.

The Government of India has taken numerous measures to ensure the equality of girl children. A huge number of welfare schemes and financial aids are introduced regularly for ensuring the welfare of the girl child, their education and health.

Common Challenges faced by Girl Children in India

According to recent census statistics, the child sex ratio of girls to boys (0-6 years) declined to 919 girls per 1,000 boys from 927 girls per 1,000 boys in 2001. The adverse sex ratio is the culmination of a conservative way of thinking that households do not want to give birth to a daughter and nurture her to achieve her abilities.

Even before the child is conceived, a ‘Girl Child’ faces discrimination. Female infanticide is a disturbing phenomenon in India, as low-cost abortion technology enables households to exercise their choice for boys over daughters. She's 'lucky' if she's allowed to be born. Right after birth, the infant faces bigotry and injustice. She is not provided with adequate meals compared to her male siblings, her education is not given much priority. And in many instances, parents want their sons to resume schooling, and wish their daughters to sit at home and do household work.

Top 10 Government Schemes for Ensuring the Welfare of the Girl Child in India

Considering the numerous obstacles that come in the way of a girl child, throughout her life, the government has many schemes in place to make sure that she is given the right opportunity and additional aid to help her progress and succeed in life. Some of the top schemes are given below;

  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
  • Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana
  • Balika Samridhi Yojana
  • Mukhyamantri Rajshri Yojana
  • Mukhyamantri Laadli Yojana
  • CBSE Udaan Scheme 
  • National Scheme of Incentives to Girls for Secondary Education
  • Mukhyamantri Kanya Suraksha Yojana
  • Mazi Kanya Bhagyashree Scheme
  • Nanda Devi Kanya Yojana

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao is a central government scheme that helps girls throughout the nation. The primary purpose of this scheme is to save the child from social problems such as gender-based abortions and advance child education around the country. This program was initially meant for districts considered to have a low sex ratio and successfully extended to other regions of the country. This is essentially an educational programme to help change societal attitudes and does not entail the immediate transfer of funds. The key aims of this child protection scheme include:

  • Preventing selective gender abortion
  • Ensure infant survival and wellbeing in childhood
  • Ensure the child's education and inclusion
  • Challenging gender stereotypes and supporting gender equality
  • Giving a safe and stable atmosphere to girls
  • To endorse the right of girls to inherit property.

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Account is a Government of India backed savings scheme designed for parents of girl children. The scheme allows parents to set up a trust for their child's eventual schooling and marriage expenses. It encourages parents to systematically save for their daughter’s higher education and marriage so that the perception of a girl child being a burden on her parents is abolished.

All parents and guardians of girl children under the age of 10 can open this account. Only one account per child is allowed. Parents can open up to two accounts for two of their children (exceptions allowed for twins and triplets). The account is portable anywhere in India and can be accessed at any branch of the post office or the bank.

  • Savings account specially designed for parents of girl children
  • Encourages parents to save towards the education of the girl child; introduced as part of the ‘Beti Padhao Beti Bachao’ movement
  • Parents of girl children under the age of 10 can open this account
  • Only 2 accounts allowed per family; exemptions allowed in case of twins or triplets
  • Minimum deposit of Rs.250 per annum and maximum of Rs.1.5 lakhs
  • Tax exemption available on the deposited amount, interest accrued and the withdrawal amount
  • Maximum tenure of the account shall be 21 years from the date of opening of account or the marriage of the girl child, whichever is earlier
  • Deposits allowed for a maximum of 15 years from the date of opening of account
  • Partial withdrawal of up to 50% allowed once the girl reaches 18 years of age
  • Account can be opened at your nearest post office or any of the public and private sector banks
  • Deposits into the account can be made via cash, cheque, DD or online transfers
  • The account can be transferred from one post office to another, one bank to another or between post office and banks, upon submission of valid address proof
  • Pre-closure of account is allowed to take care of marriage of the girl child, provided that the girl child has attained the age of 18 and relevant proofs are submitted thereof.

Balika Samridhi Yojana

The Balika Samridhi Yojana is a scheme similar to the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana. Under the scheme, limited saving opportunities are offered for the parents of the girl child.

  • The scheme is available for new born infants only.
  • Rs.500 is provided at the time of birth of each girl child.
  • While attending school, an annual scholarship of Rs. 300 - Rs. 1000 is provided till the girl child completes her Grade X.
  • Maximum age limit for enrolment is 10 years (of the child).
  • A household is qualified to enter this scheme for two of their daughters only. 
  • The depositor should belong to a family that is ‘Below Poverty Line’.
  • Account can be opened at your nearest bank. Only certain banks are designated to carry out the application process under this programme.

Mukhyamantri Rajshri Yojana

The Mukhyamantri Rajshri Yojana was launched in Rajasthan. It offers monetary benefits to parents of girl children, starting from their birth till their higher education;

  • Rs.2500 is given to the mother at the birth of a girl child
  • Once the child completes one year, with all vaccinations done, Rs 2500 is given through a cheque.
  • At the time of admission in any public school into grade I, Rs.4000 is paid to the girl child.
  • Rs.5000 is paid when the child enters Grade VI
  • Rs. 11000 is paid once the girl enters Grade XI

Who is eligible to enter the Scheme?

  • The scheme is only open to all permanent residents of the Rajasthan state.
  • The scheme is open for a girl child born after 1st June’16.

How to apply for the benefits under the scheme?

You need to visit the closest bank to register for the scheme. Certain banks have been designated to carry out the application process under this programme. Applicants can also approach the Collector's Office, Gram Panchayat or Zilla Parishad.

Mukhyamantri Laadli Yojana

The Mukhyamantri Laadli Yojana is a savings scheme specially designed for parents of a girl child. Under this scheme, an initial deposit of Rs.6000 has to be made into your post office savings account for a fixed tenure of five years. The girl child then receives the following monetary benefits in regular intervals –

  • Rs. 2,000 once she enters Grade 6th 
  • Rs. 4000 once she enters Grade 9th 
  • Rs. 7,500 once she enters Grade 11th 
  • Also, a monthly stipend of Rs. 200
  • Once she attains 21 years of age, the deposited amount will mature and can be used for her marriage expenses.

Eligibility criteria

  • The applicant must be a permanent resident of the Jharkhand State
  • The applicant should belong to a ‘Below Poverty Line’ family

CBSE Udaan scheme

The CBSE Udaan scheme for girls is implemented by the Central Board of Secondary Education, under the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India. The goal of this scheme is to increase the student enrolment of girls in prestigious engineering and technical colleges across India. Students should go to their CBSE school to participate in this programme.

  • Offers free course materials/online services, such as video related literature for girl students in the 11th and 12th grades.
  • Virtual interaction courses for girl students in the 11th and 12th grades.
  • Peer learning and mentoring opportunities for all deserving girl students
  • Study helpline resources to clear students' doubts.
  • Continuous observation and recording of students' progress.

Eligibility to enrol in the CBSE Udaan Scheme

  • Girl students who are Indian citizens living in India
  • Girl students must be enrolled in Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics in classes 11th and 12th of CBSE affiliated schools
  • Annual family income of the student does not exceed Rs. 6 lakhs per annum
  • Selection based on merit according to strict requirements

National Scheme of Incentive to Girls for Secondary Education

The National Scheme of Incentive to Girls for Secondary Education is a pan India scheme operated by the Department of Education and Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India. It is mainly for the benefit of girls in the disadvantaged classes of India. Once a qualifying student has been chosen, Rs. 3000 will be deposited as a fixed deposit on her behalf. This balance can be withdrawn with interest after the pupil has passed the class 10 exam and has reached the age of 18 years.

Eligibility criteria to enrol under the National Scheme of Incentive to Girls for Secondary Education

  • All SC/ST girls who have passed the class 8th examination
  • Girls from other social groups are also eligible if they have passed the class 8 exam through Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas.
  • Girls qualifying for the scheme must also be under 16 years of age.
  • Girl students who are married or enrolled in various central government programmes, such as CBS, NVS and KVS, are not eligible for this programme.

Mukhyamantri Kanya Suraksha Yojana

Mukhyamantri Kanya Suraksha Yojana is yet another reward programme introduced by the Bihar state government to reward the parents of every girl child. Under this scheme, an amount of Rs.2000 is released after the birth of a girl child. You can avail this benefit by producing the birth certificate of the girl child.

What is the eligibility criteria to enrol under the Scheme? 

  • The scheme is applicable to all permanent residents of Bihar state.
  • The applicant must belong to a ‘Below Poverty Line’ family category.
  • The applicant can contact the Collector’s office, Gram Panchayat or Zilla Parishad.
  • The applicant can also submit an application at their nearest Anganwadi center.

Mazi Kanya Bhagyashree Scheme

The Mazi Kanya Bhagyashree scheme was launched in the state of Maharashtra. This scheme provides the following monetary benefits to the mother of a girl child –

  • The mother will get Rs. 5,000 for the first five years after her daughter’s birth
  • Rs. 2,500 will be provided per year until she reaches Grade V
  • Rs.3000 will be provided per year until she reaches Grade XII
  • After the age of 18 years, she will be provided with Rs.1 lakh per year for her education

What is the eligibility criteria to enrol under the Scheme? 

  • The scheme is applicable to all permanent residents of Maharashtra state.
  • The applicant must belong to a ‘Below Poverty Line’ family category.

The following list of documents are to be submitted along with the application form:

  • Domicile certificate of the State of Maharashtra
  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Income certificate of parents
  • BPL card or Ration Card
  • Bank Passbook of the child with IFSC code.

Nanda Devi Kanya Yojana

This scheme is specific to the Uttarakhand state. Under the scheme, a fixed deposit of Rs. 1,500 is made in the name of a new born girl child. The principal amount, along with accrued interest is given to the girl child after she attains the age of 18 years and has completed her higher education.

What is the eligibility criteria to enrol under the Scheme? 

  • The scheme is applicable to all permanent residents of Uttarakhand state
  • The applicant must belong to a ‘Below Poverty Line’ family category
  • Only two girls from one household can avail the benefit of the scheme

FAQs

1. Can I take a loan under the Sukanya Samriddhi plan?

No loan option is currently available under your Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana account. However, you can withdraw up to 50% of the accrued amount once the girl reaches 18 years of age towards her education expenses.

2. What kind of financial aid can I get under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao program?

financial aid one. The primary purpose of this scheme is to save the child from social problems such as gender-based abortions and advance child education around the country.

3. What is the total financial aid available under the Balika Samriddhi Yojana?

Balika Samriddhi Yojana is an affordable savings scheme aimed at families that are ‘Below Poverty Line’. Rs.500 is provided at the time of birth of each girl child. While attending school, an annual scholarship of Rs. 300 - Rs. 1000 is provided till the girl child completes her Grade X.

4. Where can one enrol for these schemes?

All these schemes are conveniently available at your nearest post office and public sector banks. A few private sector banks are also roped in to take these benefits to every citizen of the country.

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