The National Girl Child Day is observed on January 24 every year. The idea behind marking the day is to raise awareness about discrimination girls face, the support they need and equal access to education, and good health. Keeping with the spirit of the Girl Child Day, here are a few schemes specifically aimed at girl child:
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
This scheme started by the BJP-led NDA government in January 2015 aims at reducing the CSR (Child Sex Ratio), provide equal opportunities for education. This is a joint initiative undertaken by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and HRD Ministry. The scheme had an initial funding of Rs 100 crore.
Sukanya Samridhhi Yojana
This scheme started by the government helps parents save for the girl child's education and marriage from the beginning. The girl child should be less than 10 when the account is opened. The account can remain operational till the girl is 21. This small savings scheme can be opened in post offices and designated private and public banks. It can be opened as a savings account in the name of the baby girl with parents or legal guardians as the joint account holders. The initial investment can be as low as Rs 250 and go upto Rs 1, 50,000. Government grants an interest rate of 8.5 per cent with a minimum balance of Rs 1,000.
National Scheme of Incentives to Girls for Secondary Education
This scheme aims to promote enrollment of girl child between ages 14-18 to secondary education. This is a centrally-sponsored scheme that was launched in May 2008. Under this scheme, a sum of Rs 3,000 is deposited as FD in the name of the eligible girls. The amount can be withdrawn when the girl turns 18 or when she passes class 10 exam.
All SC/ST girls who have passed class 8th are covered under this scheme along with girls who pass class 8 exam from the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas irrespective of their caste. They can enroll in State/ Union Territory government, government-aided or local body schools. The girls looking to avail the benefits of this scheme should be under 16 years as on 31 March on joining class 9. Married girls and girls studying in private unaided schools and schools run by the Central government like KVs, NVs, and CBS affiliated schools are not eligible for this scheme.