Any investment for the development of young children can be viewed as an investment for the future socio-economic development of the country. The Department of Women and Child Development of Karnataka Government has drawn and implemented a Scheme called Bhagyalakshmi. The salient features and the performance of the Scheme is narrated below:
This Scheme was launched by the Government of Karnataka during 2006-07 and is applicable to BPL families having girl children.
(a) To promote the birth of girl children among families identified as below poverty line.
(b) To raise the status of girl child thereby raising the status of the society.
Salient features of the Scheme:
Financial assistance is give to the girl child through the mother/father or the natural guardian. This is, however, subject to fulfilling certain conditions. These conditions are:
(a) All those girl children in BPL families born after 31.03.2006 are eligible for the benefit. The benefit can be availaed on producig a birth certificate even up to one year after birth
(b) The benefits are restricted to only 2 girls in the family. The total number of children in the family should not be more than 3 and the father, mother or guardian of the girl child should have undergone terminal family planning methods.
(c) A sum of Rs. 10,000/- is deposited in the selected financial institution in the name of the girl child on enrolment under the Scheme and after proper verification.
(d) The objective of depositing the amount with the financial institution is to maximise the amount. The deposit of Rs. 10,000/- ad the accrued interest is made available to the girl beneficiary at the age of 18 years. In a family, an amount of Rs. 34,751/- to the first girl child and Rs. 40,918 to the second girl child enrolled under the Scheme is permissible.
(e) Scholarships and insurance benefits will be made available to the beneficiary as interim payment subject to continued fulfilment of eligibility criteria laid down in the Scheme.
(f) In the event of the girl child falling sick a maximum of Rs. 25,000/- is provided as medical insurance Scheme. Furhter, in the event of natural death of the insured child, a sum of Rs. 42,500/- is given.
(g) If the insured child dies in an accident, a sum of Rs. 1,00,000/- is given to the family.
Who is eligible?
In order to avail this Scheme an eligibility criteria has been laid down by the Government of Karnataka which is as follows:
(a) It is compulsory to register the birth of the girl child
(b) The child should be immunised as per guidelines followed by the Department of Health
(c) The child should be enrolled in an Anganwadi Centre.
(d) The child should be admitted to a school recognised by the Department of Education.
(e) The child is not allowed to become a labour.
(f) The child is not expected to marry till the attainment of 18 years.
Bhagyalakshmi Scheme is implemented in collaboration with the Life Insurance Corporation of India.
Amendments in the Scheme (Applicable to children born on after 01.08.2008):
This Scheme was partially modified in August, 2008 and the amendments are applicable to only those female girl children who are born after 01.08.2008. These amendments are:
(a) An amount of Rs. 19,300/- will be deposited with the financial institution in the name of the first girl beneficiary. In the same family, the amount will be Rs. 18,350/- will be deposited in the name of the second girl child.
(b) The maturity value of the amount will be Rs.1,00,097/- in the case of first girl child and Rs. 1,00,052/- the case of the second girl child. This is subject to fulfilling all the conditions of the Scheme.
(c) A new clause has been added for those who desire to continue higher education after passing SSLC and have attained 15 years. Such girl can pledge the bond and avail loan up to a maximum of Rs. 50,000/- from any recognised bank
(d) The scholarships and medical reimbursement benefits have been withdrawn
(a) An amount of Rs. 1376.53 crores has been spent on the distribution of Bonds to 10,18,189 girl beneficiaries from 2006-07 to 2010-11.
(b) An amount or Rs. 407.84 crores has been allocated for distribution of Bonds to beneficieries during 2011-12 out of which an amount of Rs. 200 crores has already been released to 1,04,657 girl child beneficiaries.
The Scheme has made significant contribution for ameliorating the condition of girl child born in BPL families.