UN award for Mamata Banerjee’s girl child project: BJP leader says Modi deserved it
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UN award for Mamata Banerjee’s girl child project: BJP leader says Modi deserved it

The Kanyashree project was chosen for the United Nations Public Service Award from a list of 552 welfare projects from 62 countries.

kolkata Updated: Jun 24, 2017 17:07 IST
Sreyasi Pal
Sreyasi Pal
Hindustan times
UN,Kanyashree,Mamata Banerjee
Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee receiving the award at a function on Friday in The Hague.(Facebook)

Less than 24 hours after Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee received the first prize for her girl child project, Kanyashree, in a function in The Hague on Friday, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha remarked Prime Minister Narendra Modi deserved the award.

Banerjee’s pet project won the United Nations Public Service Award from a list of 552 welfare projects from 62 countries. Sinha’s contention was that she took credit for a project that was the Prime Minister’s brainchild.

Read: Mamata won because of five years of consistent performance

The Bengal chief minister received the award in the category ‘Reaching the Poorest and Most Vulnerable through Inclusive Services and Participation’ for the Asia-Pacific region.

File picture for former BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha. Mamata Banerjee is unfairly claiming credit for a project that is run on central funds, claimed Sinha on Saturday. (HT Photo)

There are more than 40 lakh beneficiaries under this flagship project of the state government .

“The actual credit of this award goes to our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Though the TMC government is running the project in the name of Kanyashree, it is funded by the BJP government at the Centre. We have heard that the Kanyashree project started in 2011 but at that time the existence of the project was only in media and in government documents,” Sinha, former state BJP president, said during a rally at Berhampore in Murshidabad district on Saturday.

“When the Prime Minister Narendra Modi started the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ project in 2014, the TMC government introduced their Kanyashree project in full swing. The Bengal government is diverting the fund of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ project for the Kanyashree project,” Sinha alleged.

Read: Mamata vs Modi govt: 5 central schemes stonewalled by the West Bengal CM

“Kanyashree of Bengal now becomes Kanyshree of the world. The prestigious award is in recognition of excellence in public service for sustainable development, innovation and our commitment to leave no one behind in the development agenda of our government,” wrote Mamata Banerjee on her Facebook wall.

Officials of the state government pointed out that in 2016-17, West Bengal government allocated Rs 1,000 crore for Kanyashree but ended up spending a little more. They also said the central funds for Bengal for a similar girl child project Sukanya Sammriddhi project was about Rs 150 crore. some of which might be used for Kanyashree.

Incidentally, the budgetary allocation for Beti Bachao Beti Padhao for 2017-2018 is Rs 200 crore.

The beneficiaries get a one-time grant of Rs 25,000 and annual scholarships of Rs 500. The target age group is 13 to 19 years for girls from families with income less than Rs 1.2 lakh per annum. The one-time cash is given to the girl is she gets admitted to an undergraduate college/vocational course and is unmarried after 18.

Read: Modi’s Swachh Bharat, Mamata’s Nirmal Bangla get push from marauding elephants

The cash is transferred directly too the bank account of the beneficiary.

In Bengal Mamata Banerjee launched her Kanyashree project in October 2013. It was rolled out all over the state by early 2014. Modi, on the other hand, announced Beti Bachao Beti Padhao in January 2015 with a national budget of Rs 100 crore.

“Increased educational attainment, prevention of child marriage and financial inclusion are the scheme’s objectives.... Kanyashree works towards creating a supportive environment in which girls are encouraged to express their full potential and are free to become architects of their own lives,” mentioned a statement issued by the UN department.

First Published: Jun 24, 2017 17:07 IST