The Kerala government has granted a fund of Rs 20 lakh as financial assistance for the education of children of jail inmates. A total of Rs 15 lakh has been sanctioned for the assistance of their basic education and Rs 5 lakh as the aid for their professional studies, state Social Justice Minister K K Shylaja said here on Saturday.
The education aid is provided as part of the probation services implemented through the state Social Justice Department with an aim to bring all these children into the mainstream of the society.
“When the breadwinners of the family are in jail, the education of innocent children is stopped abruptly. The government is implementing the project to ensure that their studies are not hampered,” the minister said.
Under the scheme of assistance for basic education, the beneficiaries are children of women prisoners and those belonging to the families, which are headed by ladies as the male member is jailed.
Children aged below five years, and those studying in classes 1 to 5 would get Rs 300 each per month, while those studying in classes 6 to 10 would get Rs 500, those in higher secondary Rs 750 and children pursuing degree, and other professional courses would receive Rs 1000 each per month, Social Justice Department sources here said.
Under the scheme of assistance for pursuing professional courses, children of prisoners, serving life or death sentences, would get the support for their studies.
As the fee structure is different for various courses, Rs one lakh is allowed maximum for each student, they said. Children of Below Poverty Line (BPL) are eligible for the benefits.
However, the financial assistance can be provided to the children even though the relatives who are liable to protect them fall under the Above Poverty Line (APL) category, provided both the parents are in jail, they said.
The assistance is disbursed through jail superintendents which is approved by the Director of social justice, the department sources said adding that the amount would be directly transferred to the bank account of the deserved beneficiaries.
Over 6,000 prisoners are lodged in a total of 54 jails including 3 central prisons in the southern state.
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