ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” campaign aims at arresting India’s deteriorating child sex ratio through communications and advocacy. It must be acknowledged, however, that behavioural and larger social changes are not effective without wider policy changes. The lesser talked about “Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana” is envisioned as a complementary scheme to the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme and aims at encouraging the education of girl children. Under it, parents of girls below 10 years can open bank accounts in the girls’ names and avail more interest and income tax benefits. The two programmes will initially be implemented in the 100 shortlisted districts, including 12 in Haryana, where, as per government records, there are at least 70 villages where no girl child has been born in years.

Both the initiatives are commendable. But certain caveats apply. First, this scheme comes on top of a variety of state-level cash transfer schemes, promoting girl children in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, to name a few. It is unclear how the central government scheme approaches beneficiaries who already come under the state government schemes.

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