November 26, 2015 2:54:32 am
A survey conducted by the International Centre for Research on Women has revealed that girls who received conditional cash transfer (CCT), attained higher schooling and were more likely to continue their education.
The International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) had conducted the study to see the affects of Haryana government’s Apni Beti Apna Dhan scheme, which operated between 1994 and 1998. Under this scheme, the government had purchased a bond of Rs 2,500 in the name of the girl child, which was redeemable when the girl turned 18, provided she was not married. The scheme targeted poor households and disadvantages caste groups.
Researcher Priya Nanda said the girls, who were born at that time and were registered as beneficiaries by their parents, were between the age of 16 and 18 from 2012 to 2014. It was then decided to study the impact of the scheme on the education of girls and their marriage.
Around 10,000 girls were interviewed as part of the study. These included both beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries and their mothers.
The study revealed that the girls who were beneficiaries attained higher levels of schooling and were more likely to continue their education and less likely to drop out than non-beneficiary girls. The study found that while over the duration of this CCT, families had not availed cash benefit, the knowledge of the protracted benefit influenced their decision to invest in their daughter’s education.
The study also found that in terms of getting time for studying at home, a higher proportion of non-beneficiary girls stated that they never received the same amount of time for studying at home as their men siblings. Among the beneficiary girls, 20 to 30 per cent reported getting three or more hours to study at home.
It was also found that the beneficiary girls are less than three times more likely to be in government schools compared to their men siblings, while non-beneficiary girls are four times more likely to be in government schools.
Nanda said there is a big shift in the marriage age of girls over the years. However, it was found that more girls in the age group of 18 to 19 years who were not married were beneficiaries. “There are several factors that are involved when it comes to education of girls. At times parents are reluctant to send their daughters outside for higher education fearing for their safety. The availability of schools near the residence is another factor,” she said.
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