Due to the orthodox and patriarchal society in India, the Girl child even in the 21st century is considered a bane in the rural areas. However, recently the government has taken a massive step towards the betterment of the girl child by providing right to education, right to good health and right to a good family life. One such initiative is the 'Sukanya Samriddhi Account'. This is technically an insurance scheme which will later on help in educating the girl child or securing her future. The account can be opened at the time of the girl child’s birth or until she turns 10 years of age. A minimum deposit of Rs. 1000 is mandatory to open and maintain this account. A maximum of Rs. 1.5 Lakhs can be deposited during a financial year.
The account can simply be opened in the post office or in any authorized branches of commercial banks. Even lower income groups can opt for this plan because it’s a government backed insurance scheme and hence guaranteed benefits for your daughter and no chance of fraud. The government released a statement on the Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme stating that the scheme guarantees equitable share to a girl child in savings and resources of a family in which she may be discriminated against the male child.
Since many rural areas people will show reluctance as they don’t have much idea of how beneficial it can be for their girl child. Therefore, the scheme will also provide a higher rate of interest at 9.1% annually on the deposit. It will also include income tax concession in this financial year. This account will be operative for 21 years from the date of opening it or till the marriage of the girl child upon attaining the age of 18 years. Higher education is usually a financial burden for parents if they are not well prepared. And by signing up for Sukanya Samriddhi Account, parents can pay for their daughter’s education without glitches.
Partial withdrawals for higher education can be made from the account. Also, 50% of the account’s balance can be withdrawn after the daughter attains the age of 18 years. Sukanya Samriddhi Account will provide financial assistance to the parents for imparting higher education to their daughter in India. Not only will this solve the dilemma of paying for the expensive education but it will also help the parents to earn a good amount of interest on the deposit, which will motivate them into trying this scheme even more. The rule of not allowing withdrawal from the account before the age of 18 helps prevent early marriage of girls. This will improve the status of women and girl child in India by giving them a secure future when it comes to finances.
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Source: This article has been adapted from the article "PM launches Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana under Beti Bachao campaign" that appeared on February- 02- 2015 in theindianawaaz[dot]com