Amid a barrage of attacks over the Muzaffarpur sex scandal, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has launched an ambitious scheme which promises to provide Rs 54,100 from the birth of a girl child till she graduates.
Nitish Kumar launched the 'Mukhyamantri Kanya Utthan Yojana' on Friday and expressed his government's resolve for empowerment of women. In his launch speech, Kumar talked about his happiness over the start of the scheme, but at the same time said he was "standing here with mixed feelings" over the case of sex abuse at a state-funded girls' shelter home at Muzaffarpur".
On the occasion, the chief minister also made several other announcements like increasing the amount under the 'Bicycle Yojna' from Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000. The scheme, launched by Nitish Kumar government in 2006, providing bicycles to school going girls, has won laurels in the country and abroad.
He also announced doubling the amount for purchase of sanitary napkin to Rs 300 from existing Rs 150 under the 'Kishori Swasthya Yojna.'
Giving details of the scheme, Kumar had said on birth of a girl child her family would get Rs 2,000. After preparation of her Aadhaar card, the family would get an additional amount of Rs 1,000.
If the family completes the whole range of immunisation within two years of a girl's birth, it will get a sum of Rs 2,000.
After entry into class one in a school, a girl will get Rs 600 for purchase of uniform. Similarly, she will get Rs 700 for uniform in between class three to five and it will be scaled up to Rs 1,000 when she reaches 6th to 8th standard and Rs 1,500 in between 9th to 12th standard. On clearance of Intermediate, a sum of Rs 10,000 will be given to encourage her to pursue higher education. For this, only unmarried girls are eligible. After doing graduation, she will get Rs 25,000.
This will be applicable to married as well unmarried women of a family having only two girls.
A sum of Rs 7,221 crore will be spend in a year on the programme.
State Health Minister Mangal Pandey told PTI that the scheme which provides incentive for completing immunisation within two years of birth will help in maintaining good health of girls.
Principal Secretary of Education R K Mahajan described the scheme as "very progressive" which would help lift female literacy and also combat child marriage and control population surge.
The list of the girls who have cleared the intermediate examination this year has been prepared and they will be given Rs 10,000 under this scheme, he said.