Aid for marriage of daughters of poor widows, destitute women also enhanced
The Delhi Cabinet on Monday decided to extend the benefit of enhanced pension of Rs.1,500 per month to all categories of women in distress — widows, divorced, abandoned and separated. The scheme was earlier limited to widows and distressed women belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minority communities only.
In another decision for the benefit of poor widows and orphaned girls, the Cabinet has decided to increase the amount paid under the scheme of “Financial Assistance for the Marriage of Daughters of Poor Widows and Orphan Girls” from Rs.25,000 to Rs.30,000. This scheme too will now be extended to widows of all communities.
Announcing these decisions after the Cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said her government has been trying to enhance the quantum and coverage of its various welfare schemes with the aim of reaching the maximum number of needy and vulnerable women.
The Cabinet had earlier decided to enhance the monthly pension from Rs.1,000 to 1,500 for beneficiaries from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minority communities under the scheme of old age pension and pension for women in distress. But it was felt later that benefits granted to women of these communities should be extended to all such women, irrespective of their caste and religion.
As for the decision to enhance financial assistance for widows belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minority communities for performing the marriages of their daughters, Ms. Dikshit said this scheme will be extended to all categories of applicants under the scheme. About 2,500 people have applied for monetary benefit under the scheme.
The Delhi Government, she said, will spend around Rs.56 crore over and above the existing Rs.116 crore to foot the hike in monthly pension and for providing the one-time financial assistance for the marriage of the daughters of windows.
While the Department of Women & Child Development was providing pension to about 89,000 women in distress, this figure is now expected to cross one lakh with the expansion of the scheme.