Govt launches ‘Laadli Beti’ at Pulwama

J&K Government’s pioneering “Laadli Beti” scheme aimed at reversing the alarming trend of declining child sex ratio in the State, was launched at an impressive function here today.

“Laadli Beti” is a social security scheme launched by the State Government for girls born in low-income families.

Minister for Social Welfare, Forest and Ecology, Mr Bali Baghat, Member Parliament, Ms Mehbooba Mufti, Minister for Finance, Labour & Employment, Dr Haseeb Drabu, Minister of State for Social Welfare & Health, Ms Asiea Naqash, Chairperson State Commission for Women, Ms Nayeema Ahmad Mehjoor, Member Rajya Sabha Nazir Ahmad Laway, MLA Pampore, Zahoor Ahmad Mir, MLA, Ms Anjum Fazili, PDP Coordinator for South Kashmir, Mr Sajad Mufti, Political Analyst in Chief Minister’s Secretariat, Mr Waheed-ur-Rehman Para, officers from Social Welfare, ICDS and District Administration were present on the occasion.

Under the scheme, the state government will, for the next 14 years, contribute Rs 1000 per month towards the birth of every girl child born after April 1, 2015 in the families with income upto Rs 75000 per annum. Upon reaching the age of 21 years, the girl child would receive a sum of Rs 6.50 lakh.

The scheme is to be implemented on pilot basis in eight districts of the State including Srinagar, Jammu, Budgam, Samba, Pulwama, Kishtwar, Anantnag and Kathua, with worst child sex ratio. The scheme has been already launched in Jammu, Budgam, Anantnag and Srinagar.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Social Welfare, Mr Bali Baghat said the Laadli Beti scheme will provide much-needed economic security to the girl child born in a poor family. “It is a revolutionary step towards social security of the girls,” he said, adding the scheme will come as a huge relief to those poor parents who live from hand-to-mouth.

Addressing the gathering, Member Parliament, Ms Mehbooba Mufti described the occasion to launch Laadli Beti scheme as one of the happiest moments of her life. She hailed the State Government for launching this innovative scheme to secure the future of the girl child.

“Real prosperity to the State would come only when we secure the future of our daughters and the women folk,” she said and stressed the need for girl education and employment.  She added that huge challenges still remain in fully empowering women and socially deprived sections of the society in the State.

Calling for attitudinal change in the society towards women, Mehbooba said the girl child is as much a blessing as a boy. She expressed sadness over rising cases of domestic violence against women in Kashmir.

Speaking on the occasion, Finance Minister, Dr Haseeb Drabu said Laadli Beti scheme will provide much needed economic security to the girls born in poor and downtrodden families. “It is a ground-breaking step to stabilize the child sex ratio and will bring huge relief to the poor parents who live from hand to mouth,” he said and added that it will also encourage the poor parents to provide best education to their daughters.

Minister of State for Social Welfare, Ms Asiea Naqash and Chairperson State Commission for Women, Ms Nayeema Mehjoor also addressed the gathering.

The insurance-based scheme – AASRA, which aims at providing security to low-income groups, in the event of death or disability was also launched on the occasion.

Later, Ms Mehbooba and Dr Drabu also visited Government Degree College Pulwama were several demands were raised by college administration and students including buses for students, up-gradation of local sports stadium and completion of college auditorium.

The Finance Minister assured them that their genuine demands will be addressed.