Kanyashree Prakalpa, a West Bengal government scheme that provides scholarship to girls from economically-backward backgrounds, has been given international recognition by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and UNICEF. State representatives have been invited to the Girl Summit 2014 in London, in June, and to talk about the scheme to a global audience.
The conditional cash transfer scheme for school girls was inaugurated by the Trinamool Congress government on October 1, 2013, with the express purpose of ensuring the education of girls and thereby preventing forced child marriage.
Under the scheme, the government provides an annual scholarship of Rs. 500 to girls between 12 and 18 years (class eight to class 12) to continue with their studies, provided they are unmarried. A one-time grant of Rs.25,000 is also provided to the girl, once she reaches the age of 18, to pursue higher studies.