January 9, 2015
Kanyashree impact: School dropout rate among girls falls in Bengal
That actions speak louder than words is exemplified yet again by West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee. Her vision is showcased through her mission. Kanyashree, the internationally acclaimed project started by the Government of West Bengal, has borne fruit.
According to data from the National Sample Survey 2014, the school dropout rate among girls in the State has come down. The report says that while the National average for school dropout rate for girls is 3.23%, the same for the State is 1.28%. In the 2009 survey, the figure stood at 2.34% for Bengal.
About the scheme
The Kanyashree Scheme was inaugurated by the Trinamool Congress government in October, 2013, with the express purpose of ensuring the education of girls and thereby preventing forced child marriage.
Under the scheme, the government provides an annual scholarship of Rs. 500 to girls between 12 and 18 years (class eight to class 12) to continue with their studies, provided they are unmarried. A one-time grant of Rs 25,000 is also provided to the girl, once she reaches the age of 18, to pursue higher studies.
The project was applauded by UNICEF which partnered with the State for implementation. The project also received international recognition by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and State representatives were invited to the London Girls’ Summit 2014 in to talk about the scheme in front of a global audience.