TomorrowMakers

Read on to find out how a single mother can use government initiatives to secure their girl child’s future.

What are the government initiatives to help a single mom plan for her girl child's future in India?

As a single mother, it is all the more important to plan for your and your girl child’s future. To help you with this, the government has launched several schemes. You should use them to secure your girl child’s future. 

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao

In India, a country where patriarchal beliefs run deep, educating a girl child is not considered a priority. This is apparent not only in rural areas but also in urban households. The Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme not only intends to save the girl child from female infanticide but also provides an opportunity for them to get an education. The scheme was initially launched in states with adverse sex ratios, and subsequently spread to other regions of the country. 

Some of the objectives of this scheme are as follows: 

  • Prevent gender-based abortions
  • Reduce girl child mortality rates 
  • Encourage girl child education
  • Support gender equality 
  • Provide safety to girl children
  • Ensure property inheritance rights for girls

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana 

The Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) was launched under the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao umbrella scheme. It is a small deposit scheme that is allowed as a tax benefit under section 80C of the Income Tax Act, up to a maximum of Rs 1.5 lakh. Any girl child who is an Indian citizen residing in India and below the age of 10 can avail of SSY. Such an account can be opened in any Indian bank.

The interest accrued and the maturity amount are tax-free, which makes this scheme very attractive. The minimum deposit is Rs 250 per annum, and the maximum tenure of the account shall be 21 years from the year in which the account is opened or at the time of the beneficiary’s marriage, whichever is earlier. The maximum tenure for which deposit is allowed in this scheme is 15 years. 

A maximum of two accounts is allowed per family. There is an option to withdraw up to 50% of the corpus when the girl child reaches the age of 18. Pre-closure of SSY account for funding a wedding is allowed only if the child has attained at least 18 years of age. The prevalent interest rate is 8.1% per annum (tax–free). Read more to know Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme: What is it and how it benefits the girl child?

Related: 6 Government initiatives to support girl child

CBSE Udaan Scheme

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) launched this scheme to encourage the enrolment of girls in technical higher education in India. The eligibility criteria for availing of this scheme is as follows:

  • The girl student must be an Indian citizen
  • The family’s annual income should be under Rs 6 lakh p.a.
  • The selection criteria shall be strictly merit-based
  • The candidate should have studied PCM (physics, chemistry, mathematics) in grades 11 and 12

The scheme extends the following benefits to girl students who are enrolled in CBSE schools: 

  • Free course/online support material (videos, recordings etc.) for students of grades 11 and 12
  • Monitoring of students’ progress and intervention for relevant help
  • Mentoring and peer-learning opportunities
  • Helpline to clear any doubts 

Related: Parents to be? Tips to share the financial responsibility of raising a child

State-specific schemes

Many states have extended their own set of benefits for the girl child. One prominent state-specific schemes is Maharashtra's Majhi Kanya Bhagyashree Scheme. It extends monetary benefits to the parents of a girl child from her birth till she completes her higher education. It offers the following benefits:

  • Rs 5000 for the first 5 years after a daughter’s birth
  • Rs 2500 till the girl child reaches Grade V
  • Rs 3000 till the girl child reaches Grade XII
  • Rs 1 lakh per year for her education after age 18 

Mukhyamantri Rajshri Yojana in Rajasthan is designed on similar lines. Another plan, extended by Bihar, is called the Mukhyamantri Kanya Suraksha Yojana, where Rs 2000 is given to a mother who births a girl child. There are other state-specific schemes such as Nanda Devi Kanya Yojana in Uttarakhand, where a fixed deposit of Rs 1500 in the name of the girl child is extended. 

Related: Managing a child’s financial expenses: A mother’s perspective

Documentation for these schemes is quite simple, with the birth certificate of the girl child being the most essential one. You can avail of any or one or all of these schemes based on eligibility and your desire to give wings to your girl child’s dream.