An 18-year-old teen from West Bengal made headlines two years ago when she resisted a forced marriage has been forced to drop out of college after the state failed to pay her welfare.
Under the Kanyashree Scheme, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s project for the welfare of girls, Astami Roy was supposed to receive Rs 25,000 from the state. When it never came, she couldn’t make ends meet for the second year of college.
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“I started pursuing my degree course in Arts. Later my father passed away and we were in deep trouble. I thought I will get the Kanyashree money and it will be of some help but that never happened,” said Astami
DNA India reports:
As per the provisions of the welfare scheme of the state government, once she is enrolled for the Kanyashree project she would get Rs 750 per and if she is not married when she turns 18, she would get Rs 25,000.
Thanks to some unknown technicalities, the money never got credited to her account and now, trying to fend for her family she is looking for a job.
“What option do I have? I see my mother go out to work at someone’s farmland to feed us. I have four younger sisters and the youngest one is five years old,” Astami added.
Headmaster of Barasini Nandalal High School, Deepak Mondal told DNA that they had done their bit in the process. “I believe there is some problem in the online submission of application by her secondary school authorities. If she has been getting the K1 scholarship under the Kanyashree scheme, she should be getting the K2 as well,” Mondal told DNA.
District social welfare officer Kali Das said she was “surprised” that Astami never received the money.
“There is a nodal officer in the district who is looking after the Kanyashree scheme. I am sure she will help her if she approaches her with an application stating details,” said Das.
In 2016, Astami’s parents attempted to force her into marriage, leading her to call child helpline 1098 to get help. Incredibly, after this first attempt to force her to wed failed, her aunt found her another man to marry.
Astami managed to slip away to seek police help, and her story has made her the face of the ‘Amrai Parbo’ (We can do it) movement against forced child marriage in India.