CM Jagan said that the government will transform schools so that poor children do not have their options limited to caste-based occupations and labour.

Amma Vodi scheme launches in AP to provide aid for students from low-income families
news Welfare Thursday, January 09, 2020 - 17:17

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday launched the Amma Vodi scheme in Chittoor. Under the scheme, mothers and guardians of school-going children from low-income families will receive an annual financial assistance of Rs 15,000. The scheme is meant for increasing enrolment and attendance in schools, and is one of the Navaratnalu (or list of major poll promises) made by Jagan. 

The CM said that more than 42 lakh beneficiaries were identified this year, and Rs 6,318 crores in total will be deposited to their accounts. 

Speaking about various changes in school education in the state, such as the introduction of English medium and the Nadu-Nedu scheme for infrastructure development in schools, the Chief Minister said that by the time the students who are currently in classes 1 to 6 graduate after 2030, they will be equipped to compete with their peers anywhere across the world. 

Jagan also assured that steps were being taken to ease the transition from Telugu medium to English medium through bridge courses for students and training modules for teachers. “It is mainly poor children from SC, ST, BC and minority backgrounds who are attending government schools. These kids must not end up confined to doing labour or caste-based occupations. It is to oppose these kinds of structures that we are transforming government schools,” Jagan said. 

He also advised beneficiaries to contribute Rs 1,000 from the Amma Vodi assistance to the school through the parents’ committee, for paying the watchman and cleaning staff’s salaries.

Also read: AP govt diverts Rs 6k cr from welfare schemes to fund Amma Vodi, critics question move

The assistance would be directly deposited in the beneficiaries' bank accounts in January every year till the child completes class 12. The district educational officer or vocational educational officer or regional educational officer would release the amount to the beneficiaries' savings bank account.

The data of the beneficiaries under the scheme would be available with the village volunteer of the respective village in the state. The government said that the assistance will be given to children studying in all government, private aided, private unaided schools/junior colleges. The scheme is applicable to the mothers of children who are below the poverty line.

The beneficiary should be a white (BPL) ration card holder and ensure that the student must have 75 percent attendance in the school/college. However, this attendance rule has been relaxed for the first year of implementation. 

In case of dropout from school or college, the scheme would not be applicable to the beneficiary. Government employees and income tax payers are not eligible for the scheme.

Besides, the government has included orphans and street children in this scheme who are studying in schools through voluntary organisations. The financial assistance will be provided to these organisations after coordination with the department concerned. 

To ensure transparency, the beneficiaries' list will be displayed at the village level.

Read: In capital shifting away from Amaravati, how Kammas lost a ‘paradise’