Department of Women Development and Social Welfare, Government of West Bengal (DWD&SW) has designed the Kanyashree Prakalpa - a conditional cash transfer scheme with the aim of improving the status and well being of the girl child in West Bengal by incentivizing schooling of all teenage girls and delaying their marriages until the age of 18, the legal age of marriage. Kanyashree Prakalpa is a West Bengal Government sponsored scheme which will be implemented henceforth in all districts of the State.
The scheme has two components:
The Annual Scholarship is for unmarried girls aged 13-18 years enrolled in classes VIII-XII in government recognized regular or equivalent open school or equivalent vocational/technical training course.
The One-time Grant is for girls turned 18 at the time of application, enrolled in government recognized regular or open school/college or pursuing vocational/technical training or sports activity or is an inmate of Home registered under J.J. Act 2000
Both the benefits under the scheme will be granted to girls who belong to families with annual family income not more than Rs. 1, 20,000/- (Rupees One Lakh and twenty thousand only. The bar for family is not applicable if the girl has lost both parents, is physically challenged (40% disability) or is inmate of J.J. Home.
Given that child marriage has a grossly negative impact on the lives of children, adolescents and young women, this scheme is expected to bring about improved outcomes in terms of their educational status, health (especially facilitate the prevention of infant and maternal mortality) and contribute towards the empowerment of the girls in the State, and bring immeasurable benefits for the larger society as a whole.