In a welcome move, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government set up a fund of ₹20 lakh to provide financial assistance for the education of children of jail inmates in the state.
A total of ₹15 lakh has been sanctioned towards the provision of their basic education and ₹5 lakh for their professional studies, under the education initiative which forms a part of probation services implemented through the state Social Justice Department with an aim to bring all these children into the mainstream of the society.
"When the breadwinners of the family are in jail, the education of innocent children is stopped abruptly. The government is implementing the project to ensure that their studies are not hampered," said K. K. Shailaja, reported The New Indian Express.
Under the scheme of assistance for basic education, the beneficiaries are children of women prisoners and those belonging to the families, which are headed by ladies in the absence of the male member.
The assistance would be disbursed through jail superintendents, approved by the Director of Social Justice, the department sources informed adding that the amount would be directly transferred to the bank account of the deserved beneficiaries.
Reports have highlighted that children aged below five years and those studying in 1st to 5th standard would get ₹300 each per month, while those studying in 6th to 10th standard ₹500, those in higher secondary ₹750 and children pursuing a degree and other professional courses would receive ₹1000 each per month,
Officials privy to the matter from the social justice department mentioned that aid up to ₹1 lakh is allowed for each student depending upon the courses and requirements. Additionally, children below the poverty line (BPL) too, stand, eligible for the benefits.
However, the financial assistance can be provided to the children even though the relatives who are liable to protect them fall under the Above Poverty Line (APL) category, provided both the parents are in jail, they added.
Reportedly, Over 6,000 prisoners are lodged in a total of 54 jails including 3 central prisons in the southern state.