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Bengal: To prevent rush, minimum income support camps now to be held at booths

These camps will exclusively cater to those who want to enroll for the ‘Bhandar’ scheme, a minimum income support for women.

Written by Atri Mitra | Kolkata |
August 21, 2021 12:09:42 pm
duare sarkar camp kolkataAt a ‘Duare Sarkar’ camp in Kolkata on Monday. (Express Photo by Partha Paul)

Alarmed by overcrowding at ‘Duare Sarkar’ camps mostly on account of overwhelming response for the ‘Lakshmir Bhandar’ scheme, the state government has decided to take these camps to booths within a week. There are 77,000 booths across the state.

These camps will exclusively cater to those who want to enroll for the ‘Bhandar’ scheme, a minimum income support for women.

Officials believe the announcement will decongest ‘Duare Sarkar’ camps, currently held at the block-level, in compliance with Covid protocols. At these camps, people can get registered for various schemes from ‘Bhandar’ to ‘Swasthya Sathi’, Student Credit Card and ‘Krishak Bandhu’. First held on August 16, camps will continue till September 15.

With ‘Bhandar’ a hit among women, the government has revised its expected expenditure to Rs 17,000 crore from Rs 11,000 crore.

According to sources, of the total registrations at the ‘Duare Sarkar’ camps, 60 per cent are for the income support scheme. Swasthya Sathi, a health insurance cover, is the second most popular scheme followed by registrations for caste certificates, student credit card and others.

“First, we thought the rush would peter out. However, things are not happening as we had thought. On the other hand, the chief minister has already announced those who don’t have ‘Swasthya Sathi’ cards can also benefit under the ‘Lakshmir Bhandar’ project. With this, we are expecting that around 2 crore would benefit from the scheme,” a senior official said.

Under the ‘Bhandar’ scheme, women from the General Category can received Rs 500 a month and those under the SC/ST category are eligible for Rs 1,000 a month. The scheme was part of the TMC manifesto released ahead of the Assembly polls in March-April this year.

 

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