West Bengal introduces 'Rupashree scheme’ for marriage of poor girls
The state government of West Bengal on March 28, 2018 introduced a new scheme called ‘Rupashree’ in order to provide marriage assistance to girls coming from economically weaker families with a budgetary allocation of Rs 1500 crore.
The scheme’s announcement was made earlier by the state’s Finance Minister Amit Mitra during the presentation of the state budget for 2018-19.
• The scheme proposes to extend one-time financial assistance worth Rs 25,000 to the family of the girl whose annual income is up to Rs 1.5 lakh.
• The monetary assistance will be provided at the time of marriage after the girl has attained the age of 18 years.
• A woman is required to fill the application form before her marriage and submit it to the office of Block Development Officer or Municipality Office to avail benefits under Rupashree.
• The scheme is expected to benefit around six lakh families annually.
• The state’s Finance Minister has proposed to provide Rs 1500 crore for the implementation of the scheme.
Many poor families find it extremely difficult to bear the expenditure of marriage of the daughters and have to borrow at a high rate of interest to bear the marriage expenses. The new scheme aims to lessen the financial burden of such families.
• The state government had earlier introduced a scheme called Kanyashree Prakalpa, which sought to improve the status and well-being of girls, specifically those from socio-economically disadvantaged families through Conditional Cash Transfers.
• The scheme’s main focus was to ensure that girls stay in school and continue their education and delay their marriages until at least age 18.
• The purpose of the initiative was to uplift the girls who belong to poor families and thus can’t pursue higher studies due to tough economic conditions. The flagship scheme has benefitted more than 45 lakh girls.
• While Kanyashree scheme promotes education among women, Rupashree scheme complements it with marriage assistance.