Explained: Kanyashree stipends are no shield against trafficking

• There are 56.09 lakh beneficiaries of the scheme in 2016-18 Human trafficking still persists in West Bengal at an unprecedented level.

• As the per NCRB data, West Bengal reports the highest number of cases.

• Data for 2016 shows that of the 8,132 cases in the country, 3,579 cases (around 44%) were from West Bengal.

About Kanyashree Prakalpa

• The Kanyashree Prakalpa (KP) introduced by the Govt. of West Bengal in 2013 is a conditional cash transfer (CCT) scheme aimed at simultaneously reducing underage marriage and adolescent dropout among girls.

• This scheme received widespread recognition at both national and international levels.

• Most recently it awarded the first in the Asia-Pacific group for the category “reaching the poorest and most vulnerable through inclusive services and participation” by the United Nations in 2017.

• This two-tier scheme consists of an annual grant of Rs750 for unmarried girls between the age of 13 and 18 years who are enrolled in some educational institution (KP1).

• And a one-time grant of Rs 25,000 upon the attainment of 18 years, conditional upon her remaining both unmarried and continuing studies till that age (KP2).

Various multiple schemes

• Kanyashree is an overarching scheme apart from several other schemes aimed at combating trafficking.

• In September 2018, West Bengal government rolled out Swayangsiddha scheme run by the West Bengal police to prevent trafficking.

• Under the scheme complaint boxes have been installed in the schools where girls can submit any complaint of stalking or harassment faced by them or any of their friends.

• Syawangsiddha is a scheme and is not as widespread as Kanyashree.

Limitations of this schemes

• The situation had somewhat improved due to intervention of Kanyashree, still there were cases of girls from school going missing and being trafficked.

• Trafficking is a complex problem and one scheme, which provides impetus to girls to remain in school, cannot put an end to trafficking.

• Under the K1 scheme the benefit of Rs. 750 annually is hardly a deterrent to trafficking.

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Mains Paper 2: Governance | Mechanisms, laws, institutions & Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections

Prelims level: Kanyashree and Syawangsiddha Schemes

Mains level: Various laws/schemes against trafficking and their effectiveness in curbing it

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