Meena Kumari from the village of Bastiya in Gosaiganj cluster of Lucknow district in Uttar Pradesh got her elder daughter married a couple of years ago. Though struggling to make ends meet, they somehow put together the money required by taking help from family and friends. What she did not know was that the Shadi Anudan Scheme floated by the government for extremely poor and backward caste families could have got her Rs 51000, if only she had applied for it.

Fate has not been kind to Meena. Her husband passed away, leaving behind two sons and a daughter. While the sons are landless labourers on nearby farms, their education stopped due to lack of funds, and the daughter aged 20 needed to be get married.

This is when Meena met Mamta from CARE India and got to know about the various schemes in force by the government to benefit people like her.

“Mamta Didi informed me of the Shadi Anudan Scheme through which I will receive Rs 51000 which will help me cover the marriage expenses. She briefed as to the features of the scheme, how to apply, what are the different benefits and how and where to collect the money from” shares Meena

CARE India with the support of MARS has been working closely with poor and marginalised to make them aware of the several government schemes and sharing the modus operandi to benefit from them.

Meena says “Mamta Didi also helped me apply for the Widow Pension Yojana through which I receive Rs 500 per month. I go to the Jan Seva Kendra and collect it. Every bit helps in putting food on the table”

CARE has also helped Meena get a E-Shram card for herself which links her to the Pradhan Mantri Bima Yojana, an Accident Insurance Scheme which provides a benefit of Rs 2 lacs at the time of accidental death and permanent disability, and one lakh in case of partial disability.

Going forward Meena feels more confident about accessing government schemes on her own to benefit her and her family. She says “Before my husband died my sons were studying in a private school. Now I dream of at least getting both my children educated in a government school.”

About the Programme: Mint farmers in India produce 80% of the world’s supply of mint and rely on the crop to provide household liquidity. In Uttar Pradesh, women mint farmers engaged in subsistence farming face a variety of socio-economic challenges, such as gender inequality, food insecurity, and financial illiteracy. In addition, these women mint farmers have also been affected significantly due to COVID-19. MARS has partnered with CARE India with the Shubh Mint project to support 4,755 women to overcome these challenges which improves their overall quality of life.

Posted by: Vandana Mishra

Location: Bastiya village, Gosaiganj block, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

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