Mumbai: In an attempt to encourage education among female students studying in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) schools, they are being provided with Rs 5,000 as fixed deposit (FD) in their bank accounts. Parents claim they will use this money for the higher education of their children as most of them are from the economically weak sections of the society with low income.
This money is deposited in the bank accounts of female students while they are studying in civic-run schools. Anjali Naik, chairperson of BMC education committee, said, “Students receive the money once they complete their education in BMC schools. We want to create awareness so that parents do not deprive their daughters from educational opportunities. Financial assistance is a major help as most of our students belong to families with low monetary income.”
Parents revealed that though this money is a small amount, it helps them to fund their education for next two years till they reach Class 10. Kailash More, a parent, said, “Our children study for free in BMC schools till Class 8 but then we have to enrol them in other state-run schools for Class 9 and 10. This amount helps us to buy basic necessities like books and uniforms.” While, Latika Mistry, another parent, said, “Though the amount is minimal, we shall use it to buy new stationery for our children.” A budget of Rs 7.86 crore has been allotted for this project for this year.
The amount is generally given to students if they complete basic elementary education (Class 1 to Class 8) in civic schools, said Saeeda Khan, BMC education committee member. Khan said, “Students receive the amount if they study from Class 1 till Class 8 in BMC schools. The education department has helped to open accounts in nationalised banks for these students based on their Aadhaar card.” While Aarti Pugaonkar, another committee member, said, “Students are given a FD certificate which they can encash as per the maturity date mentioned on it.”
Teachers claim this provision should be implemented in Zilla Parishad (ZP) schools in rural districts of Maharashtra. Hansraj Desai, a teacher, said, “More than Mumbai, girls in ZP schools in remote districts of Maharashtra are deprived of educational facilities. Low financial income, orthodox traditions and rudimentary cultural practices affect girls in rural areas. It would be helpful if this provision is extended to ZP schools where there is a dire need of financial help.”