SRINAGAR: Launched with an intention to contain declining female sex-ratio and provide financial support to girl-child in Jammu & Kashmir, the ‘Laadli Beti’ scheme is witnessing a huge backlog. The number of cases pending with the Integrated Child Development Scheme Kashmir twice outnumbers the ones approved since 2015.
An official document shows that 2300 cases were given approval up to a few months ago while about 5300 more were still pending for approval with the agency. The cases are waiting for verification by the concerned Child Development Project Officers (CDPO) in the four districts of the valley where the scheme was launched on pilot basis.
Budgam, according to the document, has highest number of pending cases (around 2380) with just under 300 cases actually given approval by the officials.
Insiders say the work has picked up some momentum over the last five months, the pace of the verification is still very slow. They say very few cases reach the approval stage.
Under the scheme, currently implemented in Pulwama, Budgam, Anantnag and Srinagar, J&K Government contributes Rs 1,000 per month towards the wellbeing of every girl child born after April 1, 2015 till she reaches 14 years of age.
Aiming to arrest the declining female sex-ratio by reducing the financial pressure on girls’ parents, some 250 lakhs rupees were allocated for the implementation of the scheme in all identified districts of J&K.
Upon reaching 21 years, the girl would receive a sum of Rs 6.5 lakh, transferred directly in her bank accounts. In Jammu, the scheme is implemented in three districts – Jammu, Kathua and Samba.
Deputy Director Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) Kashmir, Rashida Akhtar, says she is aware of the accumulation of cases seeking benefits under the ‘Laadli Beti’ scheme, she believes “accelerated efforts over the last six months” would help speedy disposal of cases.
“I have deployed my staff exclusively for this purpose. Cases pending must be released as early as possible. All those eligible for the scheme must receive due benefits,” she said.
She said they don’t have an updated figure about cases completed and those under process. “We have achieved good results so far and we will be compiling data very soon,” she said.