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March 1, 2015

Girls to get more from ‘Kanyashree’ scheme in West Bengal

Girls to get more from ‘Kanyashree’ scheme in West Bengal

The West Bengal Government increased the budget for its successful ‘Kanyashree’ scheme for empowering girls by increasing the scholarship amount.

“Encouraged by the success, I propose to enhance the annual scholarship amount under the scheme from Rs 500 to Rs 750. With this increase, allocation for the ‘Kanyashree Prakalpa’ will stand at Rs 850 crore,” state Finance Minister Dr Amit Mitra said in his budget speech.

So far, 22 lakh beneficiaries have been enrolled under the scheme and assistance has been given to 20 lakh people, he said.

Under the scheme, an annual scholarship is provided to poor girls between 13 and 18 years to continue their studies.

Besides, if an unmarried girl continues her studies up to the age of 18 years, a one-time grant of Rs 25,000 is deposited in her bank account.

‘Kanyashree’ was acclaimed as a case study in the Girls’ Summit held in July 2014 at London and had received the first prize in the Manthan South Asia and Asia Pacific award in e-governance.

In the Assembly, the minister also announced that bicycles would be provided to all 40 lakh students of the state from class IX to class XII within the next two years.

“Students in rural areas find it difficult to attend school when they have to walk for some distance. Poor families cannot spare money for transport. This partially accounts for dropouts among students after class VIII,” Mitra said adding they have already distributed almost five lakh bicycles.