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Featured Image: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee receives the award from UN officials at The Hague on Friday. Photo Courtesy: Her Facebook

Newsmen Bureau

Kolkata, 23 June: CHIEF Minister Mamata Banerjee’s pet project for adolescent school girls, Kanyashree, has won the first place in United Nations’ award for public services this year.

Kanyashree has bagged the first place in the category “on reaching the poorest and most vulnerable through inclusive services and participation while competing with 552 projects from 62 countries from all over the world.

The Chief Minister, who is on a tour of Netherlands now, today received the award during UN Public Service Day celebrations at The Hague. “It is indeed a historic achievement and a proud moment for the people of West Bengal and India,” she said on being given a trophy and a certificate from the UN.

Banerjee has reiterated Bengal government’s commitment to innovate and implement more public service programmes to cater to the needs of the vulnerable sections in line with the world Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

Kanyashree is a targeted cash transfer scheme aimed at stopping school dropout of adolescent girls and putting a check on underage marriage.

Girl students aged between 13-18 years are given a financial aid of Rs 750 a year as an incentive for continuing their studies. Then on turning 18, they are given a one-time grant of Rs 25,000 provided they are engaged in an academic or vocational pursuit and are unmarried.

According to the state child and social welfare department, until today, 40,33,996 girl students have enrolled for Kanyashree and the state government has transferred an incentive of Rs 50 crore directly to their bank accounts. The scheme is implemented through government registered schools and institutes.