The Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) has taken up a unique project to support the poorest of the poor in the urban part of the district by providing a monthly allowance to the beneficiaries so that they can sustain a healthy living.
The scheme has been named as project “Samaj Bandhob”.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had launched the scheme by handing over the grant to eight beneficiaries during a programme few days ago. In the same programme she had inaugurated a few more projects taken up by the corporation for an overall development of the area under its jurisdiction.
The project is a brainchild of the Mayor Rathin Chakraborty and it has been initiated to bring the downtrodden people in the mainstream of life.
A senior official of the corporation stated that the project was meant only for the poorest of the poor people of the society. Accordingly, five BPL card holders have been selected from each ward.
But that was not the only criterion. Local councillors have been given the task to verify whether they really need the grant and a list containing names of the beneficiaries have been prepared on the basis of the recommendations of the councillors.
At present five people from each of the 66 wards under HMC have been identified those are deriving the benefits every month. The financial condition of the beneficiaries was so poor that having an account in a bank was distant dream for them.
Thus the HMC officials had helped them to open accounts in banks and every month their grant get automatically deposited in their respective bank accounts. As per the scheme, each of them is getting Rs 500 every month.
“One may feel that Rs 500 is too less. But the grant is a ray of hope for the person who neither has any means of livelihood nor anyone to take care,” said an official, adding that the beneficiaries are aged persons and they do not have the strength to work further to earn their livelihood.
“At present, five people from each of the 66 wards are getting benefitted. Due to the forthcoming elections, number of beneficiaries cannot be increased. But we have plans to take up the number of beneficiaries to 20 from each ward and discussions are on in this regard,” said Nilanjan Bandhyopadhyay, Commissioner of HMC.