Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has asked the state government to formulate a scheme for nearly four lakh girls living below poverty line to enable them to live a dignified life and prevent their exploitation.
The court also asked the government to provide such girls a minimum of Rs 25,000 each and five grams of gold at the time of their marriage.
The government has identified 3,73,086 girls under the below the poverty line. The directions came yesterday from a division bench of Justices Virender Singh and Muzaffar Hussain Attar after hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Mohammad Amin Beigh.
The bench asked the government to formulate an exclusive scheme for such girls and laid down the broad parameters for it.
"Areas be carved out in both urban and rural areas, which are in close proximity with each other, from where these girls have been identified. Two or three mohalla/wards in urban areas and one or two villages in rural areas can constitute a unit," the court said.
The court said the girls of these areas be made part of cooperative society which shall be exclusively for them and for their benefits.
"The amount which would be required for launching these societies shall be provided by the government," the court said.
"These girls, wherever required shall be imparted training in handicraft, tailoring, knitting, poultry and analogous and identified jobs," it added.
"The Societies and Cooperative Societies of these girls shall he provided all incentives to work. The products of these societies, shall be purchased by the Handicraft Department/Handicraft Corporation of the state.
"The payments to these Societies/Cooperative Societies shall be made at the time of purchase of the products itself. Further profits earned by these government outlets shall be shared by Societies/Cooperative Societies in equal proportions," the court said.
The court said the government should provide all necessary paraphernalia to enable the girls to start the above mentioned activities.
The court asked the government to constitute a separate fund for the marriage of the girls and said the government would be at liberty to seek donations from "philanthropists".
"This fund shall be utilised for marriage purpose of the girls who are identified by the state authorities themselves. A minimum of Rs 25,000 shall be paid to a girl at the time of her marriage and as far as possible, five grams of gold shall be given to the girl who is to be married," the court said.
The division bench said it was its earnest desire that the state government would work on the suggestions and directions.
"When the mechanism comes into existence, these poor girls would definitely not fall prey to the evil forces of the society and would be in a position to lead a life based on moral values and in a dignified manner," the court said.
The court asked state chief secretary to file compliance report by February 10. The PIL was initially a petition seeking quashing of PSA order at the pre-execution stage by Beigh, a resident of Kulgam in south Kashmir.
Beigh was ordered to be detained under the PSA by District Magistrate Srinagar on December 26, 2011 for indulging in immoral activities including physically exploiting poor girls as well as supplying them to others.