The union government on Monday accepted a proposal to provide nutritional diet and financial aid to empower girls between ages 11 and 18 in 200 districts and the union territories.
The decision to launch the scheme, rechristened SABLA or the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent, was taken here at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The government has made a budgetary allocation of Rs.1,000 crore for 2010-11 to implement the scheme, an official release said. The scheme will cost Rs.4,500 crore during the remaining period of the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12).
However, the 200 districts where the scheme would be launched are yet to be chosen.
The scheme envisages reaching out to adolescent girls at Anganwadi centres, run under the World Bank-assisted Integrated Child Development Projects, in various states.
Under the scheme, the girls will either be allowed to take ration home or have good quality nutritional meal at various scheme-implementation centres. The government will also explore the feasibility of transferring cash to the girls, the release said.
In the initial years of the scheme, the government expects to cover 92 lakh to 1.15 crore adolescent girls per annum.