Beti Ko Padhao, Beti Ko Bachao !!

Every year, the 24th of January is observed as Bet Din (or daughter’s day).
If someone ever asks me about the definition of Acche Din, I would define it in this manner: “The day when our beti’s (daughters) actually march ahead and our betas support it with all their will, thrill and feel really chill.

Wow! A patriarchy bashing haiku!
So what did we actually do to stay true to the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao slogan?
Apart from uploading innumerable selfies and uploading them on social media along with a long sentimental post, most of the people would have gone out to get favourite treats for their Beti’s. And the remaining would have bemoaned their fate of being parents to daughters.
But did you know that the Government of India offers a plethora of such treats that can actually help our daughters live a hassle-free life?

I am actually surprised, shocked, and frustrated to know that less than 3% of our population know anything beyond Sukanya Smridhhi.
Why not take baby steps in understanding various schemes available and make use of it?
Let us begin to educate ourselves on how we can truly empower our daughters.

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana:

(SSY) is a savings scheme launched back in 2015 as part of the Government initiative Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign.

This scheme enables guardians to open a savings account for their girl child with an authorised commercial bank or India Post branch.

As of 1st July 2019, SSY accounts offer an 8.4% rate of interest. 

A Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana calculator can help you determine the returns you receive as per the invested amount and tenure. 

SSY account can be opened by legal guardians of the girl child provided the following conditions are met:-The girl must be an Indian resident

– The girl must be an Indian Resident

– The girl shouldn’t be more than 10 years of age

Up to two accounts can be opened in a family with two girl children.

Additionally, the legal guardians will also need to submit the following documents to be able to start the deposits in the scheme:-Duly filled scheme opening document which covers the basic personal details of the account holder and the girl child for whom the account is being opened.

– Birth certificate of the girl child.

– Depositor’s identification documents as well as a valid address proof.

– Medical certificate in the case of the birth of multiple children under a single birth order.

– Additional documents requested by the concerned authority.

The maximum investment in a year comes with a cap of 1.5 lakhs. And the minimum amount to open the account is Rs 250. The legal guardian can operate this account till the girl attains 18 years of age. The account matures once the girl turns 21 years of age. SSY can be opened with your nearest post office as well. It provides tax benefits too to the guardian.

Balika Samriddhi Yojana:

Balika Samridhi Yojana was introduced by the Indian Government in 1997 under the policies for Women and Child Development to facilitate the girl child. It is widely known as a key initiative to support the birth and education of the girl child.
Objectives of the Scheme
This scheme works for the welfare of the girls with the following objectives:
Bring positive change in the attitude of the family, society, or community towards the mother and the girl child
Protecting and Improving the enrollment as well as retention of the girls in school
Rightly raising the girl child till she reaches the legal age for marriage
Helping the girls and motivating them to take up income-generating activities for her own welfare
The eligible girl children under Balika Samridhi Yojana are inherently deserving of the following benefits:
Rs.500/- presented as a post-birth grant amount
Annual Scholarships for the girl children born on or after 15th August 1997 and are registered under the BSY

Eligibility and Coverage under Balika Samridhi Yojana

As the name of the scheme suggests, this Yojana is available for girl children only.

Here is a list of eligibility conditions that are required to be fulfilled by the candidate to get the benefits from BSY:
BSY covers both the rural and urban areas in all the districts of India.
For the residents of rural areas, families identified to be below the poverty line according to the criteria specified under Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana, will be taken as the target group.
For the residents of urban areas, the families living in urban slums irrespective of their recognition will be covered under Balika Samridhi Yojana. Also, families working as rag-pickers, vegetables & fruit sellers, payment vendors, etc. are covered under the scheme.


Indira Gandhi Scholarship:

This is for those who are blessed with just one teenie weenie angel. The scheme provides a scholarship for Post Graduate studies. It aims to compensate the direct cost of girl education pursuing higher education, especially those girls who happen to be the only child of her parents. Scholarship holders will receive ₹ 36,200 annually. This can be claimed till the girl attains 30 years of age.

CBSE Udan:

The program is open to Indian citizens residing in India only.
• All girl students studying in classes XI of KVs/ NVs/ Government Schools of any recognised Board/ CBSE affiliated private schools in India are eligible to apply based on the criteria given above.
• The selection of the students will be based on merit and will be considered against the city chosen by the candidate for the weekly virtual contact classes.
• Girl students enrolled in Class XI in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics (PCM) stream.
• Minimum 70% marks in Class X overall and 80% marks in Science and Mathematics; for Boards that follow CGPA, a minimum CGPA of 8 and a GPA of 9 in Science and Mathematics.
• Reservation as per JEE (Advanced);OBC (NCL) – 27 % , SC – 15 % , ST – 7.5 % ,PWD – 3 % of seats in every category
• The annual family income should be less than 6 lakhs per annum
The annual scholarship of Rs 6,000 is provided for meritorious students under this scheme.

Vivekananda Fellowship:

Keeping Swami Vivekananda’s ideas of women education and to achieve and promote girls education, UGC has introduced Swami Vivekananda Fellowship for Single Girl Child for research in Social Sciences intending to compensate direct costs of higher education especially for such girls who happen to be the only girl child.
ELIGIBILITY:

i) Any single girl child of her parents pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Sciences in Universities/Colleges/ Institutes is eligible to apply under the scheme. In a family, if one son and one daughter are available then the girl child will not be considered for fellowship under the scheme. Proof of being a single girl child has to be submitted on an affidavit of Rs.50/- Stamp paper from the fellow/parent duly attested by SDM/First Class Magistrate/Gazetted Officer (not below the rank of Tahsildar) as per the prescribed proforma at the time of filling the online application.
ii) The scheme applies to such a single girl child who has registered herself in regular, fulltime Ph. D. program in Social Sciences in Indian Universities/Colleges/Institutes as indicated below:
A) Universities/Colleges/Institutes included under section 2(f) and 12(b) of UGC Act, 1956.
B) Deemed to be Universities under section 3 of the UGC Act 1956 which are eligible to receive a grant in aid from UGC.
C) Universities/Colleges/Institutes funded by Central/ State Govt.
D) Institutes of National Importance.
iii) Admission to Ph.D. Course in Distance education mode is not covered under the scheme.
iv)Girl students up to the age of 40 years for general category and 45 years for the reserved categories i.e. SC/ST/OBC and PWD (Persons with Disabilities) as on the last date of submission of online application are eligible
v)Transgender candidates are eligible to apply under the scheme as per the norms.
The scholarship is for five years from applying. (The amount for the initial two years is Rs 25,000 each and Rs. 28,000 for the next three years.)
Pragati Scholarship: Pragati Scholarship is a government scholarship scheme implemented by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). An amount of INR 50,000 per annum is given to the scholarship winners for every year.

Begam Hasrat Mahal Scholarship:

The Scheme of “Begum Hazrat Mahal National Scholarship” for Girl Students belonging to the Minority Communities was earlier known as the “Maulana Azad National Scholarship” Scheme. It was started by the Foundation in the academic year 2003-04.
The main purpose of the scheme is to provide financial assistance to meritorious girl students belonging to national minorities, who cannot continue their education due to lack of financial support.
Amount of scholarship will be provided Rs.5000/ each for Class IX & X and Rs.6000/-each for Class XI & XII.
– The scholarship will be awarded to minority girl students who are studying in Class 9th to 12th and have secured at-least 50% marks or equivalent grade in aggregate in previous class/qualifying exam.
– Only girl students belonging to six notified Minority Communities i.e. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and Parsis are eligible.
– The credentials of the student require School Verification. For this purpose, the students are advised to download the School Verification form and get it signed by the Principal of the School. Principal stamp & signature are required on the photograph and at the given space in the form. The scan copy of the School Verification form is to be uploaded and attached to the application.

– The annual income of the student’s parents/guardian from all sources does not exceed Rs.2.00 lakh. Students have to submit the Income certificate of parents/guardian issued by the Competent Authority declared by the State Government/UTs Administration. Alternatively, the Income Certificates from Pardhan / Sarpanch, Municipal Board, Councillors, MLA, MP or from any Gazetted Officer may also be considered, apart from the Income Certificate received from the concerned department.
– Income Certificate must be in Hindi/English language. In case the Income Certificate is in Regional language then it should be accompanied by notarized Hindi/English Version.

Incentive Scheme for girls:

The Centrally Sponsored Scheme – National Scheme of Incentives to Girls for Secondary Education was launched in May 2008. It aims to promote enrollment of girl child in the age group of 14-18 at the secondary stage, especially those who passed Class VIII, and to encourage the secondary education of such girls.

Eligibility
– All SC/ST girls who pass class VIII and
– Girls, who pass the class VIII examination from Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (irrespective of whether they belong to Scheduled Castes or Tribes) and enroll for class IX in State/UT Government, Government-aided or local body schools.
– Girls should be below 16 years of age (as of 31st March) on joining class IX
– Married girls, girls studying in private un-aided schools, and enrolled in schools run by Central Government are excluded.
A sum of Rs. 3000 (Rupees three thousand only) would be deposited under term deposit/ fixed deposit in a public sector bank or in a post office in the name of every eligible girl child. The term/ period of the deposit may be counted from the date of deposit to the date on which the girl child attains the age of 18 years. No premature withdrawal will be allowed.

Process followed
– An account will be opened in the name of the beneficiary in the nearest public sector bank or in a post office by the implementing agency (State/ UT Governments or the autonomous organizations, as the case may be) and the amount deposited in a Fixed Term Deposit.
-A passbook or a certificate would be given to the student, which will also identify her as a beneficiary of the scheme.
-The beneficiary will have to continue her study at least for two years in secondary school after her enrollment in Class IX to avail of the benefit under the scheme. The Principal/ Head of the school will furnish a certificate to this effect.
-To be eligible to draw the matured amount a precondition would be for the beneficiary to pass the class X Board examination successfully.
-On attaining 18 years of age and production of 10th class pass certificate and a certificate from the Principal / Head of the school that the girl beneficiary has continued her study for at least two years after enrollment in Class IX the implementing agency will authorize the bank to transfer the matured amount in the interest-bearing account to the savings to account in the name of the girl beneficiary.

Pragati Scholarship: 

Pragati Scholarship is a government scholarship scheme implemented by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). An amount of INR 50,000 per annum is given to the scholarship winners for every year.

The rewards under this Scholarship is Rs. 50,000/- pa and the eligibility is that the Girl students must have been admitted to the 1st year of the diploma/degree program

Look, it does take a huge chunk of taxpayers’ money for the government to roll out such schemes, and the real success of these well-intentioned programs lies in the ability of the parents to shift from whining about their daughters and begin to utilize the schemes available because truly Beti hai to Desh hai.

The future is hers.

The world is hers.

Let her fly high!

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