August 14, 2018
Mamata Banerjee’s gift on Kanyashree Dibas – A new university for Kanyashree girls
Bangla Government is celebrating Kanyashree Dibas today. The Kanyashree scheme was started by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in 2013 with the primary aims of ensuring girls get education and become self-dependent, and of preventing child marriage.
Over the five years of its existence the scheme has managed to garner the attention not only of the whole country but of the international community too.
A result of this is that in 2017 the Bengal Government won a United Nations Public Service Award, topping the category of ‘Reaching the Poorest and Most Vulnerable through Inclusive Services’. Of course, national-level awards have come in the State’s kitty as well.
Highlights of Chief Minister’s speech:
We are dedicating this day to our Kanyashree girls. I firmly believe that one day entire world will celebrate Kanyashree Dibas. This scheme is a model for the entire world.
Kanyashree girls are not just the pride of our State, they are the pride of the entire country, as well as the world. They will conquer the world one day.
We have empowered nearly 50 lakh girls through Kanyashree. The school drop out rate among girls has come down by 11.5% because of this scheme. The scheme has helped in spreading education among girls.
Many parties pitch for women’s reservation during elections. They say women must have 33% reservation. Trinamool already has 35.29% female MPs in Lok Sabha. This is the highest in the country. The national average is around 12.2%. Even before the government or the Parliament could bring in a law for women’s reservation, we have achieved it. Where there is a will, there is a way.
Three lakh girls, who were not part of Kanyashree scheme, are now being included. For this, we will have to spend Rs 200 crore more. But we do not mind spending Rs 200 crore, because we know that our Kanyashree girls will shine one day and give us back Rs 2 lakh crore.
I have a vision, and I want the Women & Child Welfare Department to implement it. I want to set up a Kanyashree University. We have a guest house at Uttarkanya named Kanyashree, we have named ferries after this scheme. Now, we want a university named after the scheme. Kanyashree girls can study here with pride. They can tell others with pride about the facilities they are receiving. They will not have to worry about admissions after board exams.
Girls studying in classes VIII to XII receive K-1 scholarship. College students receive K-2 grant. University students receive Rs 2,000 for pursuing arts and Rs 2,500 for studying science. I want the Higher Education Department to impart training to the Kanyashree girls. Skill Development Department should give them vocational training, so that they can become self-sufficient. The 53 lakh Kanyashree girls should not have to beg for opportunities. They will build a better society in the future.
We have 50% reservation for women in municipalities and panchayats. We give 731 days maternity leave to women for the upbringing of their children. They even get leaves when their children have examinations. We also give paternity leave of one month.
We also have a scheme for poor families who do not have the money to arrange for their daughter’s wedding. We give them an assistance of Rs 25,000. This scheme is called Ruposhree. We also give cycles to the students of classes IX to XII so that they can commute to school easily. I want our students to study, play, get involved in cultural activities. Sing, learn karate, resist, protest against all wrongs.
Protest against riots, injustice, canards, discrimination, propaganda, extremism. Let us build a better society. Bangla has never learnt to submit, or bow our heads. We always march on. You have to reform the society. You have to establish peace. The elders will move on one day, you have to take up the charge.
It is wrong to believe that girls cannot manage the families if they work. They can do anything, if they want to. I want you to dream. You have to fight, and survive. If someone mocks you, tell them, catch me if you can. Challenge them to compete with you.
Tomorrow we will celebrate Independence Day. We pay our respects to all our freedom fighters. We salute our motherland. This is our matribhoomi, karmabhoomi, pitribhoomi, dharmabhoomi. This is the land of culture and civilization.
Dream on. You have to conquer the world one day. If you believe, you can. You have to dream to become winners. I wish you all the success. Jai Hind. Bande Mataram.