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Govt mulls Rupashree scheme to help poor girls marry

Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government has proposed to introduce "Rupashree" scheme to provide one-time financial assistance of Rs 25,000 to the family of a girl at the time of marriage.
This comes at the time when Bengal has bagged the United Nations Public Service Award for Asia Pacific in Netherlands for the Kanyashree Prakalpa, which has ensured a check in dropout rates of girl students from schools.
Mitra said in the state Assembly while presenting the Budget, that there are many poor families who find it "extremely difficult" to bear the expenditure of marriage of their girls. In a bid to help poor families regarding marriage of their daughters above 18 years in age, the "Rupashree" project has been proposed.
The state Finance minister has proposed allocation of Rs 1,500 crore for the project and around 6 lakh families will get the benefits of the scheme.
It may be mentioned that there are many cases in which people from poor families are forced to borrow money at a high rate of interest for marriage of their girls. There have been many instances in which the families were ruined after failing to repay the loan that they had taken.
Stating it to be a "dream scheme" of the Chief Minister, Mitra said: "The state government wants to stand by these families and partly relieve them from this financial burden. I propose to extend a one-time assistance of Rs 25,000 to the families of girls with an annual income of Rs 1.5 lakh at the time of marriage, after attaining the age of 18 years."
The Chief Minister said the step has been taken to help people from poor families and the financial assistance will be a support to the families for their daughters' marriage. She has also clarified that girls who will get benefits of the Kanyashree Prakalpa can later avail the aid of Rupashree scheme as well.
At the same time, the Budget of the Mamata Banerjee government had many more schemes to offer for security of women and their empowerment. It has been proposed in the Budget presented on Wednesday, to increase the annual scholarship for girls under the Kanyashree project to Rs 1,000 from Rs 750.
It may be mentioned that Kanyashree Prakalpa was initiated to ensure education of girls and already lakhs of girls have been benefitted by the project. Initially, the Kanyashree Prakalpa was for girls up to the age of 18 years. Later, the Chief Minister had announced that girls from colleges would also be brought under the scheme.
Meanwhile, the state Finance minister has also proposed to introduce "Manobik" scheme to provide monthly pension of Rs 1,000 to people with physical disability. Around 2 lakh people will be benefitted by the proposal and Rs 250 crore has been proposed for the project. At present, 44,000 people with above 40 per cent disability get Rs 750 per month. It has been proposed to increase the amount to Rs 1,000.

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