August 14, 2015 9:04:45 pm
The West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday described August 14 as the “Daughter’s Independence Day” while she was unfolding plans for her government’s flagship programme “Kanyashree Project” that has now come to support 2.7 million girl students of the state.
“It is an ever expanding programme and more girl students would be brought under its purview. It is to empower our daughters,” she said.
The scheme has already been acknowledged by the UNICEF and other world forums and this project of the West Bengal government has all the potential to become a “global model” for girl’s rights, said the chief minister.
The party’s national spokesperson, Derek O Brien tweeted drawing a comparison between Narendra Modi’s “Beti Bachao Beti Padao” scheme and Mamata Banrejee’s “Kanyashree Prokalpa”. In a post he wrote: “Annual budgets: Beti Bachao Beti Padao: national Rs 100cr. Kanyashree only Bengal: Rs 1000 crore.”
However, taking Louis Georges Arsenault – the UNICREF Country head in India by her side during a programme on Friday the chief minister thanked him for “raising his voice” in world forums to highlight this project and also bringing projecting it before the World Bank.
In 2014, the West Bengal government’s Women and Child welfare department minister Sashi Panja and secretary Reshmi Sen were invited to London to showcase this project, she said appreciating the recognition it had received.
Under the scheme, girl students are being given annual financial grant and a bank account is opened in the name of each girl student where the money is deposited. Also after passing higher secondary level exams, if a girl student continues with her studies for five more years without getting married she gets a one-time grant of Rs 25,000 at the end.
The project is directed to prevent child marriages in which Bengal is among the top states in India with three out of every five girls being married off before the age of 14, according to a UNICEF study.
Didi in an emotive manner described this huge number of girl students as an upcoming “Kanyashree Team”, which few years from now would have leadership position. She asked her official to see if “kanyashree” or any girl students have thoughts in their minds that could be incorporated as a chapter in school syllabus.
She also pointed out that Trinamool Congress is the only party which has 35% of elected MPs form women.
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