Direct cash transfer scheme: Some cash in, some uncertainty

National

"It came as a new year gift," both say of the direct cash transfer. Both have had Aadhar cards made in their villages and have accounts with the State Bank of India.

Six other beneficiaries under the scheme had received their money by Thursday, with direct transfers having been launched from the new year. They got Rs 8000 each. Ironically, the scheme has been chosen because the money had so far been reaching beneficiaries much later than it should have.

Before the cheque facility was introduced, it was the beneficiaries' parents who were given cash, when they visited the child's hostel. This was to spare the student the hassles of protecting the money. But the cash did not always serve the purpose for which it was intended.

"Not every parent spent the money on their ward's educational needs," says hostel superintendent Rajvanti Uikey. The new system is aimed at ensuring that money will be withdrawn only when it is necessary for the beneficiary. "It means students will be able to get proper coaching," says Anjali Dubey, a hostel warden. Besides what they learn in school and special coaching at hostels, the scholarship also allows students to get external coaching.

Assistant commissioner (tribal) P K Pande says about 40,000 students receive various scholarships in Hoshangabad district. The pre-matric and post-matric scholarships for SC/ST students are among the four schemes where cash will be credited to students' bank accounts.

More than 1.5 crore people have received Aadhar cards in Madhya Pradesh and enrolment has acquired a sense of new urgency. Until December, eight lakh cards were being made every month, but that month alone went on to see 16.50 lakh enrolments.

With 8.62 lakh cards, Hoshangabad is behind only Indore (12.33 lakh), Shajapur (10.47 lakh) and Khandwa (10.08 lakh). In 15 other districts, the process of enrolment has just begun.

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