In a bid to achieve its objective of improving the skewed girl child ratio in Maharashtra, the state government on Monday relaunched its “Majhi Kanya Bhagyashri” scheme.
The scheme was relaunched at all district headquarters with the guardian ministers handing over certificates of encouragement to couples, who have registered under the scheme.
In April 2015, the state government had launched the scheme, in place of the “Sukanya” scheme, initiated by the erstwhile Congress-NCP government in the state. However, it had failed to gain momentum in its implementation largely due to lack of public awareness.
This relaunched initiative is a mix of “Sukanya” scheme that was implemented in February 2014 and Centre’s “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” scheme implemented the same year. Minister Pankaja Munde, who was divested of Water Conservation portfolio in the recent cabinet reshuffle, has focused her attention on the scheme and plans to implement it on a mission mode across the state, for which she had enlisted support of her cabinet colleagues and guardian ministers.
An official in the Women and Child Development department said that the government intends to take the scheme to the village level through massive public awareness programme.
“The scheme is broadly divided into two parts. One in which the couple has gone for family planning operation after the birth of the first girl child and second category is for couples going for the family planning operation after the birth of the second girl child. However, the scheme shall not apply for couples having one boy, one girl child,” the official said.
The “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” scheme was being implemented in Beed, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar, Buldhana, Aurangabad, Washim, Kolhapur, Osmanabad, Sangli and Jalna, where the girl child ratio was skewed. As per the 2011 Census the girl child ratio was 894 to 1,000 boys.
In view of the fast approaching festive season, the government has decided to rope in Ganesh festival mandals, use traditional folk art forms, and hold conferences and seminars to spread awareness of the salient features of the scheme. “The scheme includes giving Rs 5,000 for the first girl child born and Rs 2,500 for the second girl child born to the couple,” the official said.0
The government will draw insurance of Rs 21,200 for the first and second girl child born. Both the girls will get an insurance cover of Rs 21,200 each, he added. “Till the girl attains the age of 18 years, the parents will get Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000 per year towards her upbringing,” the official said adding that after she becomes a major, the insurance sum of Rs 1 lakh shall be deposited in her name in the bank.
Considering the pressure from the in-laws for bearing a boy, if the mother undergoes a family planning operation after bearing a girl child, her in-laws will get a gold coin worth Rs 5,000, the official said. “In order to increase the girl child ratio more than per 1,000 boys, the scheme also has envisaged a reward of Rs 5 lakh for the village as well,” the official said.