'Kanyashree' to be part of school syllabus next year: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said the 'Kanyashree Scheme', which was launched in 2013 with an aim to empower girls, would be part of the state's school syllabus next year.

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said the 'Kanyashree Scheme', which was launched in 2013 with an aim to empower girls, would be part of the state's school syllabus next year.

The scheme, which drew UNICEF's attention, featured at the World Girls' Summit, 2014 held in London.

Banerjee asked her ministers and officials to see to it that a chapter on the Kanyashree scheme was included in the school syllabus.

"Girls, teachers and educationists are welcome to cooperate with their suggestions, which will be sent to the Syllabus Committee for consideration," the chief minister said on the 2nd anniversary of "Kanyashree Day" today.

"I am proud of our 'Kanyashree' (girl child). They are our assets. They are the future of the world. All the best wishes to them," Banerjee said announcing that all 27 lakh girls, who were enrolled under the scheme, would get a certificate when they are 18 years old.

In the programme, financial assistance was transferred online to all 27 lakh girls enrolled under the scheme.

The UNICEF's representative to India, Louis-Georges Arsenault, lauded the efforts of the West Bengal government at empowering girls and said the scheme could become a model for India.

Meanwhile, the chief minister said, "We are still fighting for 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament. Proud to say that my party Trinamool Congress has 35 per cent women MPs in Lok Sabha".

She also lauded the role of the UNICEF in promoting the scheme.

UNICEF has partnered West Bengal government after scanning the feasibility of the scheme. Department for International Development, United Kingdom and UNICEF selected the scheme for presentation at the 'World Girls Summit 2014' in London.

West Bengal government won the Silver Medal for the "Kanyasshree Prakalpo" in the Category of "Outstanding Service in Citizen-Centric Service."

Since its launch, the scheme has won Chief Minister's

Award for Empowerment of girls, 2014, first prize in Manthan Award for Digital Inclusion for Development (south Asia and Asia-Pacific), 2014 and National e-Governance Award, 2014-15.

Kanyashree scheme has also been portrayed in a short film made by Oscar winning American short filmmaker Megan Mylan.

A galaxy of stars from the cultural world, including filmmakers, actors and singers were present on the occasion.

Coochbehar, Murshidabad and Birbhum were declared as the Best Performing Districts in implementing Kanyashree scheme while Purulia and South Dinajpur received special recognition.

Banerjee also announced that 40 lakh girls and boys, studying in Class-VIII to Class-X would receive bicycles in the next few years.

The scheme aims to promote higher education and secure the future of our girl child and transform them to responsible women of tomorrow.

Earlier, girls enrolled in Class VIII and XII in schools used to receive an annual scholarship of Rs 500. The scholarship amount was increased to Rs 750 from FY 2015-16. One-time grant of Rs 25000 is provided to each of the unmarried girl student on attaining 18 years of age.

The state government has also increased allocation in the state budget for the scheme.

The Chief Minister also attacked her critics, mainly the opposition political parties, saying those who did not work at all were now criticising all good initiatives undertaken by her government.

"You may dishonour me, but don't dishonour Bengal. Those who have self-respect should love his or her own state," she said.  

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