Bali highlights importance of newly launched welfare scheme

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 3: Highligh-ting the importance of newly launched girl friendly welfare schemes namely State Marriage Assistance Scheme for Poor Girls (SMAS) and Hunnar by the Government, Minister for Social Welfare, Bali Bhagat said that the historic initiative will go a long way in helping the poorest of the poor girls across the State.
Interacting with the media persons here today, the Minister divulged the details of the SMAS and said that the scheme is meant for those girls who are living below poverty line and may not find themselves in a position to marry due to financial constraints.
The benefits of the schemes are available for the girls who have attained the age of 18 years and above and are identified poor girls in the survey list available with the concerned District Development Commi-ssioners (DDCs) and District Social Welfare Officers (DSWOs). The eligible girl beneficiary will be entitled to get one time financial assistance of Rs. 25000 and cost of five grams of gold from the competent authority i.e. DSWOs, said the Minister.
Similarly, Hunnar scheme, is a skill development programme for the poor girls of the State living Below Poverty Line, who may not find themselves in a position to earn dignified livelihood. The scheme will bring all other schemes in other departments under one umbrella which are related to trainings and skill development component. The ingredients of the scheme include skill development, micro-enterprises, and cooperative societies for the production manufacturing of goods and marketing of products. The eligible beneficiaries will be imparted trainings through various existing schemes, extended by the identified departments following by subsidy, marketing and managerial support when the venture will turn into a cooperative society. This prestigious scheme will be operational in all the districts of the State and Social Welfare Department will be the nodal agency for implementation.
The Minister said that both these schemes will prove immensely beneficial for the poor girls and parents who have meager source of income. He said State Government is paying special attention to empower the women in the society and these schemes are the step in this direction.

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