Mitra who was addressing the dignitaries in a banking conclave on Wednesday has put this proposal before State Bank of India Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya, who was also the speaker of the conclave.
“I have said to the SBI chairperson that the Kanyashree Prakalpa is completely funded by the state budget. But the girls, who have received Kanyashree before passing out from their colleges, may need the bank’s help to start entrepreneurship or may get attached to the Self Help Groups,” Mitra said.
The state finance minister opines that the girls, who are getting Kanyashree, could start their own viable occupation but only after completion of their education. “These girls can set up boutiques, beauty salon by their own credit, or they can learn accounting software and set up their own institute,” he said.
“As a Kanyashree recipient, they have gained legitimacy. They have received Rs 25,000, after attaining the age of 18 from the state government. Now, if they could prepare a bankable project and approach any bank, will the bank support them? I think banks would certainly think over it,” Mitra added.
Mitra, however, assured to raise this issue in the next State Level Banking Committee (SLBC) meeting. “We can make a list of aspiring candidates who have received Kanyashree and opt for getting bank loans to start their own business. We will approach every bank,” the minister said.
However, in her speech, SBI chairperson has raised the issue of women empowerment. She has also mentioned about the women working in Self Help Groups and making sarees to boost their income.
Kanyashree Prakalpa, a pioneering model across India, followed by central government and many other states for similar projects, has been much acclaimed in the national arena. It is mentored by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the project seeks to improve the status of girls, especially those belonging to the underprivileged family background.
This project gives financial support to those girls to continue their studies, complete secondary education, and even technical educations. “The Kanyashree has decreased the early marriages in our state, at least till 18 years which is the legal age for marriage. It has reduced the risks of early pregnancies and maternal and child mortality, malnutrition and other harmful health conditions,” said a state secretariat source.