Forget PM's Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, CM's Kanyashree changing lives of girl child: Panja
Kolkata: Minister of state for Women and Child Development Shashi Panja on Saturday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet scheme Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Kanyasree project has been instrumental in changing lives of so many girl children in the state.
"Beti Bachao Beti Padhao has an investment of Rs 300 crore across 29 states. I don't know what it (Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao) has done and how many girls are enrolled with the scheme but the Bengal government has invested Rs 5,000 crore alone in Kanyashree scheme and 42.20 lakh girls are enrolled under it," Panja said while addressing a conclave.
The United Nations this year awarded the Kanyashree scheme with Public Service Award. It was chosen the best among 552 projects from 62 countries.
"Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee executes it, she is the face of the scheme and she has the rudder in her hand," Panja said terming the UN recognition "big".
She said under the scheme the money — Rs 25,000 — directly goes into the account of the girls enrolled with it.
"These girls have a single account in their name and the money is used by them for pursuing higher education or running small businesses for their marriage," the minister added. Panja maintained that the implementation of the scheme is closely monitored by the state project management unit in the state level and district project management unit at the district level with the District Magistrates acting as overseers in their respective districts.
"After the money is sanctioned for the beneficiary, it is dispatched to her own account. The scheme is not just an incentive but is more about nurturing the "self esteem and pride" of young girls," she added.
A few beneficiaries of the scheme shared the stage with Panja and spoke about how Kanyashree empowered them. One of the girls, 19-year-old Kuheli, has become a micro entrepreneur using the money for setting up a photocopy centre and employs two people.
This conditional cash transfer scheme with the aim of improving the status and well being of the girl child in the state by incentivising schooling of all teenage girls and delaying their marriages until the age of 18, the legal age of marriage has been doing wonders, according to Panja.