Kanyashree Prakalpa, an initiative taken by Mamata Banerjee in October 2013, won her government the United Nations Public Service Award at The Hague. The scheme was launched two years after she became West Bengal chief minister.
Notably, in the category, ‘Reaching the Poorest and Most Vulnerable through Inclusive Services and Participation’, India was named first in the Asia-Pacific group.
Kanyashree aims to develop status of adolescent girls from deprived families through small cash transfers. “Increased educational attainment, prevention of child marriage and financial inclusion are the scheme’s objectives….Kanyashree works towards creating a supportive environment in which girls are encouraged to express their full potential and are free to become architects of their own lives,” said the UN release.
“Kanyashree of Bengal now becomes “Kanyashree” of the world. The United Nations today, on the occasion of UN Public Service Day, awarded the United Nations Public Services first-place winner award… to Government of West Bengal for “Kanyashree”, out of 552 nominations from 62 countries,” said Mamata Banerjee on Facebook.
“We are delighted on behalf of our countrymen and the people of Bengal to receive the first prize on UN Public Service Day. Receiving the first prize from the UN for Kanyashree is a huge honour and recognition,” she tweeted.