Ranchi (Kanke), Jan. 10: Amira will become a doctor, Fija a nurse. Md Aslam and Md Hakim Ansari have fond dreams for their daughters.
It is another matter that both the girls are in their diapers, being less than a year old. But the fact that their fathers ' neighbours at Neuri Vikas village, Kanke block ' are dreaming about their careers, signals a huge change in the hinterland's mindscape.
It is probably the transformation that chief minister Arjun Munda had hoped for while launching the Mukhya Mantri Laxmi Ladli Yojana on November 15, 2011, when Jharkhand completed 11 years of its existence.
Today, the two couples ' Md Aslam and Tabassum, and Md Hakim and Sanjeeda Parveen ' were among the young parents of around 50 girls at the Kanke block office . They had come to register their daughters for the Mukhya Mantri Laxmi Ladli Yojana.
While Aslam drives an autorickshaw in Ranchi, Hakim is a commercial painter. Their monthly earnings are less than Rs 5,000 each, but they proudly said they had studied till plus two and their wives had gone to to high school.
"Our daughters will do far better than us, thanks to the scheme," said Aslam.
According to the scheme, when a girl child belonging to a BPL family is registered, the state will deposit Rs 6,000 in her savings account for the first five years. When she enters Class VI, she will get a one-time payment of Rs 2,000. In Class IX, she will get Rs 4,000 and in Class XI, she will get Rs 7,500. The state will give her a monthly stipend of Rs 200 in Class XII.
The girl is entitled to get over Rs 1.08 lakh when she turns 21 years old, but only if she completes plus two and hasn't married before 18 years.
Krishna Toppo, child development programme officer, Kanke block, registering the names, said: "So far, we have registered 89 girls in our block. We send forms to district headquarters for approval, following which savings accounts in a post office will be opened in jointly in the name of the child and her mother and a sum of Rs 6,000 deposited."
Today, parents of around 50 girls reached Kanke office to fill up the forms. Till December 31, 2011, Ranchi district had made 1,074 registrations. Avinash Kumar, secretary, planning and development said: "The statewide figures will be compiled soon."
The cabinet had sanctioned Rs 108 crore for the scheme in October even before it was formally launched. A sum of Rs 27 crore of this fund has been released in different districts as the first installment.
Once forms are approved, the process of opening the savings accounts gets started. "A sum of Rs 6,000 will be deposited in the accounts of the children," said L. Kuril, Ranchi district social welfare officer.
"The scheme will do a lot of good," smiled Hakim. "It will go a long way to eradicate gender bias and help the cause of female education."
Echoing him were Chinta Devi and Tejlal Mahto of Patratoli village who had queued up to register their daughter Yamini. Tejlal, a graduate, is a farmer. Chinta has completed her intermediate. They are the faces of a young and educated rural Jharkhand. "Thanks to the scheme, Yamini can knock on many opportunities as she grows up," said Chinta Devi.