Kolkata, July 28 (IANS) Extending the Kanyashree scheme to higher education, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said NRIs will sponsor research aspirations of 10 meritorious woman students from the state.
Banerjee launched the extended version of the UN-lauded Kanyashree Prakalpa, the targeted conditional cash transfer scheme, aimed at checking child marriage and retaining girls in schools and other educational institutions. She said the project is being extended to boost post-graduate studies.
“The non-resident Indians (NRIs) had come to meet me on Thursday and gave a proposal. They will bear the total expenses of 10 meritorious girl students who wish to pursue research. They will help even in future research work,” Banerjee said at a celebration for the success of the scheme.
The Kanyashree scheme has brought almost 41 lakh adolescent girls in its fold, covering over 15,500 institutions in West Bengal. It was awarded the first prize at United Nations Public Service Award ceremony this year.
In the project, the government provides an annual scholarship of Rs 500 to girls between 13-18 years (class eight to class 12) to continue their studies, provided they are unmarried and their parents’ annual income is below Rs 1.20 lakh.
If the girl continues her studies up to the age of 18, a one-time grant of Rs 25,000 would be deposited in her bank account, provided she is unmarried.
“At 18, the amount of Rs 25,000 they are getting will continue (if they don’t marry and continue studies). We have had K1 and K2. Now we are starting K3 (extended version) which means after passing out from school and college, students who go for universities (postgraduate), if they score 45 per cent, then in science stream, we will give them Rs 2,500 monthly while for arts section, we will give them Rs 2,000 per month,” she said.
“We are taking them right from childhood to university level,” she said, adding: “It is not a crime to be born poor. You must conquer poverty.”