Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Friday decided to include married girls in a scholarship scheme for female students from poor families. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet here, an official spokesman told sources. The scheme provides for disbursement of INR 15,000 to girls studying in class 11 and INR10,000 to those in class 12. They also receive a bicycle from the government. So far the benefit was available only to unmarried girl students from below-poverty line families.
The cabinet also decided to extend the ambit of a scheme aimed at discouraging female infanticide. 'While an ex-gratia amount of INR 20,000 was so far payable only to the parents of a newborn girl child only in families bearing the BPL card, the facility would now be available also to other poor people categorised as holders of the Antyodaya card,' said the spokesman. He said, 'The decision would increase the number of beneficiaries by 30 %.'