NGOs, social activists from 13 states join hands to ensure education and marriage of poor girls.
‘Beti Bank’ to ensure education and marriage of girls belonging to economically weaker section of the society.(Representative image/Shutterstock)
In a novel initiative, nearly a hundred NGOs and social activists from 13 states of the country have joined hands to form ‘Beti Bank’ to ensure education and marriage of girls belonging to economically weaker section of the society.
The idea was mooted by an Allahabad-based government employee Deepak Srivastava who himself had to face immense hardships in marrying off three of his sisters after the death of his father.
“I have six sisters. My father could arrange for the marriage of three of his daughters in his lifetime. After his demise, I had the responsibility of the marriage of three of my sisters,” Srivastava said.
“The problems that I faced made me think about the people who do not even have the resources that I had then. The society has a positive role to play in helping the less fortunate,” he said.
Srivastava said he decided to bring together like-minded social activists willing to help the needy.
“I reached out to my relatives and friends in different parts of the country and convinced them about the campaign. I managed to rope in about 62 NGOs and 33 social activists from 13 states to form a ‘Beti Bank’,” he said.
“We decided that one bank account will be opened in every state in which funds collected through donations will be pooled in. The money will be spent on education and marriage of girls,” Srivastava said.
He said legal formalities and opening of bank accounts in different states would be completed next mont
“We plan to organise mass marriages at least once every year in each state. We also contacted the officials of women and child welfare department to ensure the benefits of its schemes reach poor girls,” he added.
Director of Meerut-based NGO Mansi Sanstha Sadhna Srivastava said the campaign was a collective effort to help underprivileged girls.
Director of Krati Jan Sewa Sansthan Kriti Srivastava, who is also a part of Beti Bank initiative, lauded Deepak’s efforts in bringing the NGOs on a common platform.
“Government welfare schemes do exist but NGOs can also play a major role in helping poor girls lead a life of dignity,” she said.
Of the 62 NGOs which are a part of the initiative, 48 are from different districts of Uttar Pradesh. These include Allahabad (25), Lucknow (5), Varanasi (3), two each in Azamgarh and Chitrakoot and one each in Ghaziabad, Agra, Mathura, Pratapgarh, Mirzapur, Meerut, Banda, Kanpur, Jalaun, Hamirpur and Mahoba.
NGOs from other states include two each from Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand and one each from Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal and Goa.
Srivastava said self-help groups would also be formed at village level to strengthen the campaign.