Jagan Mohan Reddy launches ambitious scheme to directly transfer Rs 15,000 to each mother for sending kids to schoolsUpdated: Jan 09, 2020 17:22 IST
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday launched his government’s flagship scheme - Jagananna Amma Vodi (Telugu for Mother’s Lap) - a direct cash transfer scheme to encourage women to send their children to schools.
Under the scheme, an amount of Rs 15,000 would be directly transferred into the accounts of women enrolled for the same, as an incentive for sending their children to schools - both government and private.
The scheme would cover 42,12,186 mothers to benefit 81,72,224 children studying from Class 1 to 12 with effect from the present academic year 2019-20. An amount of Rs 6,455 crore has been allocated by the government in the current year budget.
The scheme is not applicable to dropouts from school or colleges. The government employees and income taxpayers are also not eligible for the scheme.
Launching the scheme at a colourful function in Chittoor, the chief minister said that he had noticed during his year-long padayatra between 2017 and 2018 how mothers were unable to send their wards to school due to poverty. “I felt that poverty should not be a hindrance for educating children and it was then I had visualised this scheme,” he said.
Stating that every parent should be in a position to educate his children, Jagan said the Amma Vodi scheme would help the poor parents fund their children’s education. He said the government had ensured that the money deposited under the scheme would not be adjusted by the bankers towards outstanding loans taken by the women.
The chief minister announced that in the coming days, his government would bring in radical changes in the schools, standardise the syllabus and improve the quality of the food to be supplied under the mid-day meals scheme.
He also announced that under Mana Badi - Nadu, Nedu (Our school - then and now), more than 15,000 schools would be provided necessary infrastructure and compound walls in the first phase. All the students would be provided school kits containing three pairs of uniform, books, shoes, socks, belt and a bag, he said.
Jagah also said that as part of meeting the requirement of students pursuing higher studies, fee reimbursement would be provided and Rs 20,000 given to each student to meet hostel and mess charges.
The scheme was launched across the state simultaneously by Jagan’s cabinet colleagues in their respective districts.
Opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legislator and former minister K Atchen Naidu alleged that the scheme was launched by diverting funds from various welfare departments to gain political mileage in the ensuring local body elections to be held later in month.
TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh tweeted a series of government orders indicating that funds amounting to nearly Rs 6,110 crore from various welfare departments towards the implementation of the ‘Amma Vodi’ scheme.
The diverted funds include Rs 568 crore from the Backward Classes department meant for Kapu welfare schemes, Rs 3,432 crore from funds meant for other backward classes, Rs 1,271 crore from the Social Welfare department, Rs 395 crore from the Tribal Welfare Department and Rs 442 crore from the Minority Welfare Department.
Minister for municipal administration Botsa Satyanarayana, however, said Amma Vodi was a historic scheme and first of its kind in the country. “The TDP leaders are not able to digest the goodwill the scheme has generated among the people towards the YSRC government and are making false allegations,” he said.