Srinagar: The Central government’s Laadli Beti scheme is giving parents of girl children in the Valley a tough time. Bureaucratic hurdles have left many cases in limbo in various departmental offices, despite months having passed since their applications were first made.
Currently implemented in Pulwama, Budgam, Anantnag and Srinagar, the Ladli Beti scheme aims to address India’s skewed male-female sex-ratio by reducing the financial pressure on girls’ parents.
Under the scheme, state 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. Upon reaching 21 years, the girl would receive a sum of Rs 6.5 lakh, transferred directly in her bank account.
In J&K, some Rs 250 lakh were allocated for the scheme’s implementation in the identified districts. The going, however, has not been smooth with the application process further lengthened by repeated trips being required to various officials. “We applied one year ago for this scheme, we have completed all our formalities, but we are still not able to avail this scheme,” Ishfaq Ahmad from Kralkhud told Kashmir Reader.
“First we went to the Social Welfare Department to confirm our cases, but they said go to Child Development Project Officers (CDPO). We are here (with the CDPO) for the fifth time and the official told us that your case is still waiting for verification,” he further said.
Speaking on the basic of anonymity, a highly placed official in DPO Srinagar told Kashmir Reader that though the work has picked up some momentum over the last seven months, the pace of the verification is still very slow. Very few cases apparently reach the approval stage.
The official said, “It is true they have to cross-check all the documents, but we have many employees to complete that work without delaying. But they work here as per their own choice.
According to the official, 4,482 cases were given approval in Budgam up to a few months ago, while more still were pending approval in Srinagar.
Deputy Director Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), Kashmir, Rashida Akhtar says cases are pending in DPO office as they have to cross check each and every document. “Due to this, it takes time, but we are trying to dispose of cases as soon as possible,” she said.
“I have deployed my staff exclusively for this purpose. Cases are pending and they must be released as early as possible. All those eligible for the scheme will receive benefit of this scheme, according to the date of birth of the child,” she said.
She added, “We have achieved good results so far. Sometimes the delay is because of the parents if they did not complete the formality in one go, and due to this reason their cases remain pending for further verification.”