SRINAGAR: The State Marriage Assistance Scheme (SMAS) launched in Jammu and Kashmir has failed to give its promised one-time monetary assistance to girls, who complain that they have been deprived of the promised benefit even after getting married.
As per an official of the Social Welfare Department, only beneficiaries surveyed in 2014 have received the amount. “After that we have conducted the survey in 2015, 2016, 2017, but those beneficiaries are yet to receive anything,” he said.
“What is the fun of introducing such a scheme when the assistance does not reach the beneficiaries at the appropriate time,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“Every day, these beneficiaries came to our office as they need that money, but what can we do? The court has ordered us to conduct a fresh survey, but they have not given us any direction to provide the list so they can receive the amount,” the official added.
“We have appealed to the Finance Department many times to release some funds so that we can rehabilitate the deserving girls, but nothing has been done,” he said.
The Social Welfare Department has received 6,000 cases of beneficiaries in district Srinagar, of which more than 1,600 are pending cases. As many as 1,300 cases are under process.
Deputy Director Social Welfare Department told Kashmir Reader that the department is not getting money in a timely manner, which is what causes delay in payment to the beneficiaries,”
The SMAS is a social assistance scheme meant for un-married girls of Jammu and Kashmir who are above 18 years of age and are living below the poverty line who may not find themselves in a position to marry due to financial constraints. Such deserving cases are entitled under the scheme to receive a one-time financial assistance package of Rs 25,000 and the cost of 5 grams of gold from the competent authority after due verification.