SRINAGAR: The state marriage assistance scheme (SMAS) launched with pomp and show has failed to accrue benefit to the girls who complain that even after getting married they have been deprived of the promised monetary assistance.
Under the scheme, the eligible girls above 18 years of age, can receive one time financial assistance of Rs 35000 and cost of 5 grams gold from the competent authority after due verification.
“What is the fun of introducing such a scheme when the assistance does not reach the beneficiary at appropriate time,” asked Jahara Farooq, a resident of Bemina. She said she was registered for the assistance last year at the time of her marriage. The marriage was solemnized as per the schedule but the monetary assistance has not been released till date.
“I visit the social welfare office several times. They confirm my registration in the relevant records but avoid release of payment citing some internal issues in the department,” she said. She said the employees assure her every time that the amount would be directly deposited in the account.
The girls awaiting marriage are also facing the dilly-dallying. “My marriage is schedule next month. I came to social welfare department to know about the payment but the employees don’t give me any satisfactory answer. I am too much dependent on that money. If it doesn’t reach me, it would create lot of problems,” Fancy Akthar, a lady from old Srinagar, said.
The social welfare department has received 5272 cases of the beneficiaries in which 1564 are pending cases. As many as 1211 cases are under process.
The social assistance scheme was meant for unmarried girls of the state living below poverty line who are not in a position to marry due to financial consent.
Rashida Akhter, deputy director of ICDS and SMAS in Social Welfare Department said that the department is not getting money well in time that causes delay in payment to the beneficiaries.
“We appeal the finance department to release some funds so that we can rehabilitate the deserving girls,” Akhter tolod Kashmir Reader.