February 5, 2009 1:27:57 am
Setting a record of sorts,the UP government officials have made sure that the two mega schemes announced by Chief Minister Mayawati on her birthday on January 15 took off within a month.
As part of Mahamaya Garib Balika Ashirvad Yojna and Savitri Bai Phule Balika Shiksha Madad Yojna,Mayawati distributed the fixed deposits certificates and cheques/bicycles to the beneficiaries of the schemes on Wednesday.
The populist schemes announced and implemented in a record 20 days time in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls will cost Rs 2,000 crore to the state exchequer.
Under the Mahamaya Garib Balika Ashirvad Yojna,the government will make a fixed deposit (FD) of Rs 22,000 in the form of National Savings Certificate (NSC) in the name of each girl born on or after January 15 in a family living below poverty line.
The only rider is that the birth of the girl should be registered and her parents should ensure that she receives an education and does not get married till the age of 18,when she will be eligible for Rs 1 lakh from that FD.
In Savitribai Phule Balika Shiksha Madad Yojna,the government will give Rs 25,000 and a bicycle each to the girls from the families living below poverty line,for their education in Classes XI and XII.
Both the schemes were launched across the state on Wednesday at the same time but while the district magistrates were distributing the FDs/cheques and bicyles to the beneficiaries in their respective districts,10 lucky ones identified for each scheme received it directly from Mayawati at a function organised at her official residence in Lucknow.
The way Mayawati has become a minister,I want my daughter to become a minister too, said Malti Devi,a widow who works as household maid,in a choked voice as her daughter received the cheque and a bicycle.
Malti,who lives in Lucknows Alambagh area,came to know of the scheme from a neighbour who is a contractor and associated with the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
Most of the beneficiaries,however,came to know of the scheme through the school where their girls are studying and got the eligibility form filled through the schools.
The mothers of newborn babies came to know about the scheme through the Aanganwadi workers.
My daughter was born on the night of January 21 and the Aanganwadi workers were in my house at 9 am, said Anita of Gosaiganj,who was waiting with her 14-day-old daughter to get the FD from Mayawati.
On the occasion,Mayawati also thanked the officials she made a special mention of the Chief Secretary for the quick implementation of the scheme,saying she hoped with the help of these schemes,the girl child will not be treated as a burden,especially in poor families.
This will also help improve the gender ratio as well as put a check on child marriages, she said. The chief minister also hit out at the UPA government at the Centre for not helping the state in its development.
She recalled how her demand for different financial packages (Rs 80,000-crore overall rehabilitation package,Rs 7,016-crore package for drought-hit areas,Rs 2,797-crore interest-free package for Bundelkhand and Rs 5,000-crore package for the revival of industries in Rae Bareli,Jagdishpur,Amethi and Sultanpur areas of AICC president Sonia Gandhi and Congress MP Rahula Gandhi) was ignored by the Central government.
The UPA government had been creating obstructions in the development of the state but we did not let that hinder the development of the state. So far,whatever we have done we have done from our own resources, she said.
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