16 Aug : The Government on Monday launched a new scheme aimed at enhancing the nutritional and economic status of adolescent girls in select 200 districts of the country.
The Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls -“SABLA” was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs at a cost of Rs 4,500 crore.
The scheme had been recommended by the Group of Ministers and aims at enhancing the nutritional and economic status of adolescent girls in the age group of 11-18.
The 200 districts will be selected using a set of indicators and will be a combination in equal proportion of good performing, moderate and not so well performing, districts in all the States or Union Territories.
Under the scheme, adolescent girls will be provided Take Home Ration (THR).
However, if any state insists on providing hot cooked meals, standards should be set for the same.
Separately, the Ministry of Women and Child development will explore the feasibility of implementing Conditional Cash Transfer scheme as an alternative for anganwadis in 100 more districts.
The cash transfer will be made contingent on the conditions to be fulfilled which will need to be laid down clearly and which should be implementable.
An allocation of Rs 4,500 crores has been made for implementing the scheme during the remaining period of the XI Five Year Plan.
For 2010-11, a provision of Rs 1,000 crore has been made in the Budget. In the initial years, 0.92 crore to 1.15 crore adolescent girls per annum are expected to be covered under the scheme during the XI Plan.
The scheme will be implemented using the platform of Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme.
The cost sharing of the scheme would be on a 50:50 basis between the Centre and states of nutrition provision (600 calories and 18-20 gram of protein).