Call it misuse of welfare schemes or absence of effective checks, a number of women — aged between 35 and 45 years — have devised a peculiar way to avail benefits of the state government’s ‘Hamari Beti, Uska Kal’ scheme — meant for much younger girls, who have just passed Class 10.
Despite having intermediate or higher degrees from much before, the women in question have attached recent Class 10 equivalent degrees awarded by the UP Madarsa Education Board in their application to be eligible for the financial assistance.
The oddity came to light some time back during the processing of applications, required before crediting the money into the accounts of the deserving beneficiaries.
The officials of the minority welfare department were at their wits’ end to find many applicants in their late 30s or mid 40s.
On verification, it was found that these women, many of whom were married, had attached Munshi Molvi degrees of the Madarsa Board.
Acting swiftly, the government has held back the fund release to the applicants.
The money was expected to be credited into the accounts of beneficiaries by November end or latest by December 18, which is the Minority Welfare Day.
“The normal age of a recent Class 10 pass-out should not be above 21 years. When we noticed that some applicants were much older, we rechecked all the applications and found nearly 500 such cases among 4,300 plus candidates from Lucknow itself,” said an official, who did not want to be named.
Sources said the trend has also been reported from other districts as well. Now, the officials are awaiting fresh guidelines from the state government before the release of funds.
“The government is mulling fresh guidelines. The applicants may be asked to attach an affidavit maintaining they have received a Class 10 certificate only once in their life,” the official said.
Under the ‘Hamari Beti, Uska Kal’ scheme, launched by the state government in 2012, girls from minority communities are entitled for a financial assistance of Rs20,000 (reduced from Rs30,000 per candidate recently) on passing Class 10.
Only applicants with annual family income not exceeding Rs36,000 are eligible for the scheme and they have to have passed Class 10 just a year before applying for the cash benefit.
Underprivileged girls from minorities like Islam, Sikhism, Christianity, Buddhism , Zoroastrianism and Jainism are entitled to the monetary benefit under the scheme of the minority welfare department to facilitate their higher education or marriage.