West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has received the highest prize in United Nations Public Service Award for the state government’s Kanyashree Prakalpa (Girl Child) scheme in The Hague, Netherlands.
Kanyashree Prakalpa scheme of West Bengal came first among the 552 project nominations received by the UN from 62 countries.
West Bengal has been awarded in the Asia-Pacific group for the category: ‘Reaching the Poorest and Most Vulnerable through Inclusive Services and Participation‘.
Argentina was the winner in the Latin America-Caribbean Group for its programme for early childhood education. In the Western Group, the UK was the winner for its programme to prevent senior citizens from being defrauded.
Kanyashree Prakalpa is an initiative of the West Bengal government to improve the lives and the status of the adolescent girls. The scheme provides financial help to the girls from disadvantaged families to pursue higher studies. It also aims to prevent child marriage. Increased educational attainment, prevention of child marriage and financial inclusion are the objectives of the scheme. The scheme was launched by Mamata Banerjee in October 2013.
This is not the first time that Kanyashree Prakalpa has won an award. Earlier, it had also received the appreciation of the UNICEF. The scheme has covered 40 lakh school and college going girls under its umbrella. Under this scheme, cash transfers have been provided to them as scholarships as long as they continue going to school. The UN Public Service Awards were launched in 2003.