Polity & Governance
7th Mar, 2019
- Stipends given under Kanyashree Prakalpa scheme of West Bengal government, are no shield against trafficking.
- As per NCRB data, West Bengal reports the highest number of trafficking cases. Data for 2016 shows that of the 8,132 cases in the country, 3,579 cases (around 44%) were from West Bengal.
Kanyashree is an overarching scheme apart from several other schemes aimed at combating trafficking.
It has been designed by Department of Women Development and Social Welfare, Government of West Bengal (DWD&SW).
Kanyashree Prakalpa - a conditional cash transfer scheme seeks to improve the status and wellbeing of girls, specifically those from socio-economically disadvantaged families by :
- Incentivizing them to continue in education for a longer period of time, and complete secondary or higher secondary education, or equivalent in technical or vocational steams, thereby giving them a better footing in both the economic and social spheres.
- Disincentivising marriage till at least the age of 18, the legal age of marriage, thereby reducing the risks of early pregnancies, associated risks of maternal and child mortality, and other debilitating health conditions, including those of malnutrition.
- It was also decided that the Scheme should confer more than just monetary support; it should be a means of financial inclusion and a tool of empowerment for adolescent girls. The schemes benefits are therefore paid directly to bank accounts in the girl’s names, leaving the decision of utilization of the money in their hands.
- To reinforce the positive impact of increased education and delayed marriages, the scheme also works to enhance the social power and self-esteem of girls through a targeted behavior change communication strategy. The communication strategy not only builds awareness of the scheme, but includes adolescent-friendly approaches like events, competitions and Kanyashree clubs, and the endorsement of strong women figures as role models to promote social and psychological empowerment.
Components of the Scheme:
- Annual Scholarship of Rs. 500 for unmarried girls aged 13-18 years enrolled in classes VIII-XII in government recognized regular or equivalent open school or equivalent vocational/technical training course.
- One time Grant of Rs. 25,000 for girls turned 18 at the time of application, enrolled in government recognized regular or open school/college or pursuing vocational/technical training or sports activity or is an inmate of Home registered under J.J. Act 2000
- All girl children within the age of 13 to 19 years
- Girls regularly attending institutions for education or vocational/sports training
- Girls of Child Care Institutes registered under J.J. Act within the age of 18-19 years
- For the one-time grant, girls who are completing 18 years on or after 1st April 2013
- Approximately 18 Lakhs girl students for annual scholarship each year
- Approximately 3.5 Lakhs girls for one time grant each year.