The Uttar Pradesh government has sounded a statewide alert against a scam, which promises cash incentive of Rs 1-2 lakh to parents of girls in lieu of money ranging from Rs 5 to Rs 50, in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (Save the Daughter, Teach the Daughter) scheme.
Thousands have already fallen prey to the scam promising benefits under the Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao scheme, which seeks to address the gender imbalance and discrimination against the girl child across UP, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Bihar.
Sources said that the “guidelines” printed on the single page fake application form mentions that girls and women aged between 8 and 32 years are eligible to submit their applications to the Union ministry of women and child development (WCD).
A senior official of the state women and child welfare department has written to all district magistrates and senior police officers instructing them to put a check on the scam after being alerted by the Union ministry.
The letter by Renuka Kumar, principal secretary of the women and child welfare department, warns that certain individuals are distributing fake registration forms of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme misinforming parents that the forms would entitle them to cash benefits worth Rs 1 lakh each in the name of their daughters and that the money would be credited to their accounts when the girl is 18.
It acknowledges that hundreds of such duly filled in fake and illegal forms have reached the Union WCD ministry as well as UP’s women and child welfare department from different districts of the state.
“The gang is alluring people towards the scheme by claiming that Rs 1-2 lakh will be credited to their account under the scheme if they fill up a particular form for which they charge Rs 50 or so despite the fact that there is no such provision to dispense cash under the scheme,” Kumar said.
“It has spread rapidly ahead of the assembly elections held in 5 states in February-March this year. The matter is serious in nature. We have learnt that people are queuing in post offices to deposit these forms,” she added.
She has ordered officials to ensure that notices are put up at all post offices informing people that no such forms would be accepted. The DMs and the police chiefs of all districts have also been ordered to undertake raids and arrest any individual selling these forms.
On February 16, the Union WCD ministry issued a warning to the public to remain wary of such fraud clarifying that there was no such provision to dispense cash under the scheme. Despite this, the forms, as per reports, are still being sold to parents who are sending them to the ministry.
Reports said that 7 women were arrested in Muzaffarnagar on February 15 for allegedly duping people by taking money to get them registered for the fake scheme. Two other arrests were also made in Pilibhit.
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme
Alarmed by the sharp decline, the Centre introduced Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) programme to address the issue of the decline in child sex ratio in 100 gender critical districts in 2015. Coordinated and convergent efforts are needed to ensure survival, protection and education of the girl child.
Goals and objectives
The overall goal of the scheme is to celebrate the girl child and enable her education. The objectives: Prevent gender biased sex selective elimination, ensure survival and protection of the girl child, and ensure education of the girl child.
The initiative has two major components: i) Mass communication campaign and ii) Multi-sectoral action in 100 selected districts (as a pilot) with adverse CSR, covering all states and UTs.
This is a joint initiative of the ministry of women and child development, ministry of health and family welfare, and ministry of human resource development.