- To change negative family and community attitudes towards the girl child at birth and towards her mother.
- To improve enrolment and retention of girl children in schools.
- To rise the age at marriage of girls.
- To assist the girl to undertake income generating activities.
Coverage and Value of Scholarship
The Balika Samriddhi Yojana will cover both rural and urban areas in all districts in India.
The Balika Samriddhi Yojana will cover girl children in families below the poverty line (BPL) as defined by the Government of India, in rural and urban areas, who are born on or after 15 August, 1997.
- In rural areas the target group can be taken as the families which have been identified to be below the poverty line in accordance with the norms specified under Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (known as such with effect from 1.4.1999), previously known as Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP).
- In urban areas, wherever household surveys have been conducted as per the instructions of Government of India and lists of BPL families are prepared, such lists can be used. Wherever such lists are not prepared, the list of families covered under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) may be followed. Where neither of these lists are available, as a rule of thumb, families living in urban slums, both recognized as well as those not recognized, may be covered. Also, families which are in urban informal sector and working as rag-pickers, vegetable/fish and flower sellers, pavement dwellers etc. would also be eligible. Applications may also be collected from families in non-slum areas.
Benefits under BSY will be restricted to two girl children in each household born on or after 15.8.1997 irrespective of the total number of children in the household.The girl children eligible under BSY will be entitled to the following benefits:
- A post-birth grant amount of Rs.500/-.
- When the girl child born on or after 15/8/1997 and covered under BSY starts attending the school, she will become entitled to annual scholarships as under for each successfully completed year of schooling.
- Class amount of annual scholarship
- I-III Rs.300/- per annum for each class
- IV Rs.500/- per annum
- V Rs.600/- per annum
- VI-VII Rs.700/- per annum for each class
- VIII Rs.800/- per annum
- IX-X Rs.1,000/- per annum for each class
- The amounts mentioned in above, shall be deposited in an interest-bearing account to be opened in the name of the beneficiary girl child and an officer designated in this behalf by the State Government/Union Territory Administration in the nearest bank or post office. The choice of a bank or a post office for the purpose of opening the account will be of the State Government/Union Territory Administration. The account should earn the maximum possible rate of interest. In this context, the Public Provident Fund scheme or the National Savings Certificate scheme should be given the highest priority and the Savings Bank Account scheme the lowest
- In order to ensure that the maximum possible rate of interest is earned on the deposits of the benefits in the interest-bearing account, no pre-mature withdrawal shall be permitted from the account which will mature on the girl child attaining the age of eighteen years.
- On the girl child attaining eighteen years of age and on production of a certificate from the Gram Panchayat/Municipality that she is unmarried on her eighteenth birthday, the implementing agency would authorize the bank or the post office authorities concerned to allow her to withdraw the matured amount standing in her name in the interest-bearing account.
- In the event of the girl getting married before attaining the age of eighteen years, she shall forgo the benefit of the amounts of the annual scholarships and the interest accrued thereon and shall stand entitled only to the post-birth grant amount of Rs.500/- and the interest accrued thereon. The implementing agency shall, in such an event, be entitled to withdraw the value of the matured deposit of the scholarship amounts and the interest accrued thereon and utilizes this fund to sanction the benefits prescribed under this Scheme to other eligible girl children.
- In the eventuality of the death of the girl child before attaining the age of eighteen years, the accumulated amount in her account would be withdrawn by the implementing agency for payment to other eligible beneficiaries under BSY.
Other utilization of the benefits
- For rural areas, funds for payment of the post-birth grant and annual scholarships will be released by the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of India to the State Governments and Union Territory Administrations who will in turn release it to the Implementing Agencies (IA) to be identified by them. The State Governments/Union Territory Administrations will disburse the benefits to the girl child through its Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme infrastructure in the ICDS areas and in non-ICDS areas through the agencies which are presently implementing BSY.
- The Gram Panchayats/Municipalities (where an elected body exits) will be responsible for identifying the beneficiaries under BSY in their respective areas of operation and for:
- Disseminating information about BSY and the procedures for obtaining the benefits under it. In this task, they should also involve voluntary organizations.
- Implementing BSY according to the guidelines laid down.
- Monitoring and following up the disbursal of the benefits under the various components of BSY.
- The Gram Panchayats/Municipalities/other local bodies (where an elected body exits) will obtain applications for the benefits under BSY. The services of village/field level staff like Anganwadi Workers, Auxiliary Nurses Midwives (ANMs), revenue village accountants, school teachers, Panchayat/Municipal staff may be utilized to identify eligible beneficiaries, to inform them about BSY, to give them the application forms, help them in filling the forms and to collect the filled in applications. Application forms should be provided free of cost. Applications can also be made on photocopies or handwritten/typed forms in the prescribed format.
- The list of these applications, which are eligible for sanction, shall be prepared by the Gram Panchayats or Municipalities/local bodies (where an elected body exits), as the case may be.
- The applications shall be verified with respect to:
- The birth of the girl child with respect to the birth register/birth certificate. The household being in the Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana list of BPL households in rural areas and; in urban areas, being below the poverty line as defined in the criteria mentioned in para 4(ii) above in these guidelines.
- Whether the girl child is the first or the second girl child in the family eligible to receive the benefits under BSY.
- If the Gram Panchayat or Municipality is satisfied about the applicant’s eligibility, it shall sanction the grant to the girl child by a resolution passed in the meeting of the Gram Panchayat/Municipality (where an elected body exits) or ratified in its meeting. The list of sanctioned beneficiaries shall be displayed on the notice board of the Gram Panchayat/Municipality for public information and also be announced in the Gram Sabha (where an elected body exits) when it is held.
- In the absence of an elected body as Gram Panchayat/Municipality/local body, its functions under BSY will also devolve upon the implementing agency.
- The list of eligible beneficiaries will be forwarded to the implementing agencies on a monthly basis. An account will be opened in the name of the girl child in the nearest nationalized bank or post office by the implementing agency and the amount deposited in a Cumulative Term Deposit. This account would be in the joint name of the girl child and an officer to be designated in this behalf by the implementing agency to facilitate withholding of a part of the amount should the girl get married or die before 18 years of age.
- A passbook would be given to the mother of the girl child or to her guardian (in case the girl child has lost her mother through any contingency), which would be in the name of the girl child. The passbook will also serve to identify the girl child as a beneficiary of BSY for future benefits also, i.e., annual scholarships when she starts attending school.
- Ordinarily, the beneficiary girl child will become eligible to receive annual scholarships after 6 years of her birth on or after 15.8.1997 when she starts going to school. Consent of the mother or the guardian will be obtained as to the mode of the scholarships i.e. whether to be deposited fully in the interest – bearing account in her name or partly to be deposited after payment of insurance premium or purchase of textbooks or uniforms. At the beginning of an academic year, a proposal for payment of annual scholarship to the girl child for the class of study successfully undergone by her in the previous academic year, would be prepared by the head of the school and sent to the implementing agency which would then deposit the amount of the scholarship for the class of study successfully completed by her in the previous academic year in the interest – bearing account in her name keeping in view the option indicated by the mother or the guardian of the girl child, as referred to in this para above, with respect to part utilization of the amount towards insurance premium or textbooks/uniforms.
- On attaining 18 years of age, and on production of a certificate from the Gram Panchayat/Municipality that she is unmarried on her 18th birthday, the implementing agency would authorize the bank or the post office authorities to allow her to withdraw the matured amount in the interest – bearing account in her name. In the event of the girl getting married before attaining the age of 18 years, she would forgo the benefit of the amount of the annual scholarships under BSY. The implementing agency in such cases would be authorized to withdraw the matured deposited amount of the scholarships and use the same for payment to other eligible beneficiaries under BSY. The girl child would however be entitled to receive the post-birth grant of Rs.500/- along with interest, regardless of her marital status at the age of 18 years.
- In the eventuality of the death of the girl child before attaining 18 years of age, the accumulated amount in her account would be withdrawn by the implementing agency for payment to other eligible beneficiaries under BSY.
Announcement of the Scheme
The scheme will be announced by the concerned State Government/Union Territory Administration well in time, by giving advertisements in the leading language newspapers local dailies and by using other suitable publicity media.