Bengaluru, Aug 7: Do you remember those days when Bharatiya Janata Party staged protests across Karnataka against chief minister Siddaramaiah-led Congress government’s ‘Shaadi Bhagya’ scheme which provided financial assistance of Rs 50,000 to brides of minority communities such as Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists in Karnataka? Now, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA has come up with almost a similar scheme. Interestingly, this scheme is only for Muslims — not for all minority communities.
Christened as ‘Shaadi Shagun’, the Centre’s new scheme will provide a wedding gift of Rs 51,000 to “graduate” Muslim women. However, those Muslim girls who fail to complete graduation will be deprived of this bounty.
Currently, a website is currently being put up by Maulana Azad Educational Foundation where all details of the scheme would be made available. The Shaadi Shagun amount will be made available only to those graduate Muslim girls who have already received MAEF scholarships earlier.
Maulana Azad Educational Foundation, which works under the National Commission for Minorities, has decided to take this step to encourage Muslim women to opt for higher studies. MAEF says this scheme is tailored only for Muslim women and their guardians to egg them on to complete their studies at the college or university level.
Recently the MAEF, headed by minorities welfare minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, held a meeting during which important decisions were taken vis-a-vis scholarships offered to Muslim women. Besides, it was also decided that a sum of Rs 10,000 would be awarded to Muslim girls studying in Classes IX and X. Up to now, only (Muslim) girls studying in Classes XI and XII were eligible to receive a scholarship of Rs 12,000 each.
MAEF treasurer Shakir Hussain Ansari said, “Girl children in a large part of Muslim society are deprived of higher education even today, often due to financial constraints. We mean to encourage girls and their parents and guardians to ensure that the students complete their graduation. Hence, we've decided on the Rs 51,000 wedding gift.”
“Though this isn't a large amount, we do believe it would be firm step forward in encouraging higher education among Muslim women,” he added.