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‘Vahli Dikri Yojana’ launched to save Gujarat’s daughters

< p align=”justify”>The state in the budget on Tuesday allocated Rs 133 crore for the scheme, under which Rs 1 lakh will be provided to first and second daughters of a family on attaining 18 years of age, for their wedding or higher education.

Deputy chief minister Nitin Patel said that the scheme would also have early intervention part, as financial aid of Rs 4,000 will be given to first and second daughter of a family when she enrols in Class I, Rs 6,000 on enrolment in Class IX. The scheme will be for girls from poor families with incomes below Rs 2 lakh a year. “The scheme aims to improve the girl child birth rate by strengthening the socio-economic status of girls in society, arrest their dropout rate and prevent their marriages as children,” said Patel.

The DyCM told the state assembly house that the scheme, the first-ofits-kind by the Gujarat government, will help prevent female foeticide, promote education of girls, and provide a substantial sum to fund the the higher education and weddings of girls.

Sociologist Gaurang Jani said that government giving cash incentives for education of girls was good, but giving Rs 1 lakh for weddings at 18 years would incentivize parents to marry off their daughters, rather than allowing them to pursue a college education.

“The school dropout rate is not because of money alone, it has social factors as well, which need to be addressed. Providing the option of using the Rs 1 lakh for college or weddings, will hurt the interests of girls, as poor parents will want to marry them off,” said Jani.

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