Dhanlakshmi Yojana

Dhanlakshmi Yojana was an Indian government program aimed at promoting financial inclusion among young girls. It provided monetary incentives for families to encourage the birth and education of female children. Its goal was to reduce gender disparities and improve education opportunities for girls. This scheme, introduced in 2008, has since been replaced by other initiatives and is no longer active.

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What is Dhanlakshmi Yojana?

Dhanlakshmi Yojana was a monetary scheme that was launched by the Government of India in 2008. A Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) was given to improve the status of girls and women. It provided financial incentives to parents of girl children to ensure their education and well-being. 

The scheme was implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development through the Anganwadi system.

Present Status: The Dhanlakshmi Yojana was discontinued in 2018. However, the government has launched other schemes, such as the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana (BBBP) and the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY Scheme), to promote girls' education and empowerment.

Salient Features of Dhanlakshmi Yojana

The key features of Dhanlaxmi scheme for the girl child are as follows:

  • The goal of the Dhanalakshmi Scheme is to prevent female infanticide and child marriage.

  • It highlights the issue of child marriage issue, where girls get married off before age 18 years. This violates the Prevention of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006.

  • The age limit for marriage under PCMA, 2006 are 18 years for girls and 21 years for boys.

  • The Dhanlakshmi Scheme follows two-fold approach at launch:

    • Insurance Cover: Provided to combat female infanticide.

    • Education Support: Offered monetary incentives to promote girls' education.

  • Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) administers cash transfers up to class 8.

  • Ministry of Human Resources Development handles cash incentives from class 9 to class 12.

  • Implementation is done by the state government's Department of Women and Child Development.

  • The insurance part is managed by the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).

People also read: Child Education Plan

Objectives of Dhanlaxmi Yojana

The Dhanlaxmi Scheme for girl child holds the following main objectives to achieve its final goal of women empowerment:

  1. Specific goals of the Dhan Lakshmi Yojana:

    • Provide monetary support and insurance until the girl child reaches adulthood and remain unmarried. 

    • Prevent female infanticide through life insurance coverage.

    • Address gender discrimination by offering financial incentives for raising female children.

    • Support girls' education, prevent child marriage, and cover medical expenses.

    • Empower girls with education for a brighter future.

  2. Broader objectives of the Dhan Lakshmi program:

    • Change societal perceptions about girls from being seen as omens to valued family members.

    • Promote a mind-set that values the lives of girl children and sees them as assets, not liabilities.

    • Encourage girls to attend school, complete at least eight years of education, and delay marriage until the age of 18.

    • Empower women by providing financial independence and boosting self-esteem.

    • Eliminate the stigma associated with the birth of a girl and emphasize her equal importance within the family.

    • Equip girls with education to pursue job opportunities and build a promising future.

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Eligibility Criteria for Dhanlakshmi Yojana

To qualify for the Dhanalakshmi Scheme benefits you should fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

  • All female children born after November 8, 2008, are eligible.

  • It applies to every girl in a household, regardless of the number of girls.

  • No consideration of a girl's financial or social background.

  • The girl must be an Indian citizen and resident.

  • All girl children, irrespective of their socio-economic status, are covered.

  • The girl child should also be part of the immunization program.

People also read: Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Calculator

Implementation

The Dhanlaxmi Yojana was initially launched as a pilot project to cover the states most affected by the dual social scourge of female infanticide and child marriage. It mainly targeted the following category of areas:

  • Low-income families received cash incentives to support the education and well-being of  girls.

  • Implemented in states and blocks with lower Child Sex Ratios (CSR) compared to other regions in the country. 

The scheme was implemented in the following states and their respective districts and blocks, considered ripe for the experiment:

States Districts Blocks
Punjab Fatehgarh Sahib Sirhind
Bihar Jamoi Sono
Uttar Pradesh Rae Bareilly Shivgarh
Chhattisgarh Bastar Jagdalpur
Bijapur Bhopalpattnam
Jharkhand Giridih Tisri
Koderma Markachor
Odisha Malkajgiri Kalimela
Koraput Semiliguda
Andhra Pradesh Khammam Aswaraopeta
Warangal Narsampet
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Benefits and Advantages of Dhanlaxmi Yojana

  • Dhanlaxmi Yojana is an innovative program that uses Conditional Cash Transfers to provide money to low-income families under specific conditions.

  • The primary goal is to offer short-term income support while encouraging long-term behavioural changes, focusing on healthcare and education to build human capital, especially for females.

  • Dhanlaxmi Yojana offers Conditional Cash benefits to families, particularly mothers, when specific conditions are met. This approach effectively reaches economically disadvantaged groups.

  • The program covers different life stages of the girl, including birth registration, immunization, primary and secondary school enrolment, with staggered cash transfers totalling approximately Rs. 13,500.

  • When the girl reaches 18 years of age, she is insured for a maturity cover of Rs. 1 lakh.

The following table explains the monetary part of the Dhanlakshmi Yojana that is disbursed to the beneficiary:

Conditions Amount  (Rs)
Girl’s Birth Registration (born after 8 November 2008) Rs. 5000
Immunization
6 weeks Rs. 200
14 weeks Rs. 200
9 months Rs. 200
16 months Rs. 200
24 months Rs. 200
Upon completion of Immunization Rs. 250
Education
Enrollment in primary school Rs. 1000
Attendance in Class 1 Rs. 500
Attendance in Class 2 Rs. 500
Attendance in Class 3 Rs. 500
Attendance in Class 4 Rs. 500
Attendance in Class 5 Rs. 500
Attendance in Class 2 Rs. 500
Enrollment in secondary school Rs. 1500
Attendance in Class 6 Rs. 750
Attendance in Class 7 Rs. 750
Attendance in Class 8 Rs. 750
Insurance maturity cover Rs. 1 Lakh

Conclusion

Gender discrimination has plagued Indian society for ages. Girls are often unwelcome at birth, while boys are celebrated. This happens because girls are seen as burdens rather than assets. Those who are born face prejudice and a lack of access to education, opportunities, and may be forced into child marriage, suffer from sexual abuse, child trafficking, and domestic violence. To address this issue, the Dhanalakshmi Scheme was a programme by the central government for girls and their families.

FAQ's on Dhanlakshmi Yojana

  • What are the statistics of the Dhanlaxmi Yojana after the first year of introduction?

    According to the website of the Government of India, the following are the statistics of the Dhanlaxmi Yojana after the first year of introduction:
    • Target: 1 lakh female beneficiaries

    • Actual: 79,555 girl beneficiaries

    • Monetary allocation: Rs. 10 crore

    • Actual utilization: Rs. 5.95 crore

  • What is the residential criterion for a registered beneficiary under the Dhanlaxmi Yojana?

    The residential criterion for a registered beneficiary under the Dhanlakshmi Yojana is that the beneficiary must be a resident of the block chosen for the scheme's implementation. As proof, it is mandatory to produce a domicile certificate.
  • How to apply Dhanlakshmi scheme for girl child

    To apply for the Dhanlakshmi scheme for girl child, you can follow these steps:
    • Visit the nearest Anganwadi center or the District Women and Child Development Office.

    • Obtain the Dhanlakshmi Yojana application form and fill it out completely.

    • Attach the required documents, such as the birth certificate of the girl child, the immunization record, and a domicile certificate.

    • Submit the completed application form and the required documents to the Anganwadi worker or the District Women and Child Development Officer.

  • What is the Dhanalakshmi scheme eligibility criteria?

    The Dhanlakshmi scheme eligibility criteria are as follows:
    • The girl child must be born after November 8, 2008.

    • The girl child must be a resident of India.

    • The girl child must be registered under the Dhanlakshmi scheme.

  • Dhan Laxmi scheme is related to which department?

    The Dhanlakshmi scheme is related to the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) of the Government of India.
  • What is the beneficiary’s fate if she migrates to a different block under the Dhanlaxmi Yojana?

    Since the Dhanlaxmi Yojana is a pilot project for only a few select blocks, upon migration, the beneficiary loses her entitlement for the benefits under the scheme.
  • Is there an income-based criterion for the selection of the Dhanlaxmi Yojana beneficiary?

    The beneficiary is selected regardless of her socio-economic status. However, it has been suggested that the income criterion be introduced to narrow down the target audience to only economically distressed families.
  • In how many stages is the conditional cash transfer benefit disbursed in the Dhanlaxmi Yojana?

    Compliance with the immunization program involves six stages from birth to 24 months and the final installment after completing immunization. It has been suggested to consolidate the multiple stages into one or two for a simplified process.
  • How much is the total immunization cash transfer benefits worth under the Dhanlaxmi Yojana?

    The cumulative cash transfer for the six installments disbursed for immunization comes to Rs. 1250.
  • Which are the agencies responsible for cash transfer benefits for education under the Dhanlaxmi Yojana?

    The education cash transfer benefit is broken into two phases, in the primary stage covering class 1 to class 8, and the other in the second stage covering class 9 to class 12. In the first phase, the Ministry of Women and Child Development is responsible for implementing the cash transfer up to class 8, while the Ministry of Human Resources and Development is responsible for cash transfers from class 9 to class 12.
  • When is the beneficiary entitled to the insurance maturity cover in the Dhanlaxmi Yojana?

    The insurance maturity benefit is disbursed only when the child girl turns 18 and she is not married. The insurance component of the Dhanlaxmi Yojana is managed by the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).
  • Is the cash transfer benefit under the Dhanlaxmi Yojana dependent on the beneficiary girl’s age?

    The entire scheme has been designed to cover the girl from childbirth to school education up to class 12. Finally, the insurance maturity value is disbursed when she is 18 years of age. Thus the benefit is linked to the girl’s age. By the same token, if the girl is registered in class 1, she is not entitled to the immunization benefit.
  • What has been the Dhanlaxmi Yojana’s impact in the sphere of women empowerment?

    The scheme is no more in operation, but it has successfully highlighted the value of the girl’s life. As a result, many similar schemes were launched to address gender inequality and aid women’s empowerment.
  • Which are the primary areas covered for conditional cash transfer benefit under the Dhanlaxmi Yojana?

    The primary condition to receive the cash benefit is compliance with immunization, education, and delayed marriage norms defined in the scheme.
  • Is it mandatory for the beneficiary to open a bank account for the conditional cash transfer benefit?

    Yes, it is mandatory as the cash benefit is credited to the beneficiary’s account directly through the DBT mechanism.

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