NEW DELHI: Short on funds, the Women and Child Development Ministry has expressed its inability to extend a scheme meant for nutrition of adolescent girls to all districts in the country.
The demand for extending the scheme called ‘Sabla’ was made by States, who were prompted by its success.
The scheme takes care of nutrition of adolescent girls and imparts them life skill education. The scheme is currently being implemented in only 205 select districts.
A senior official in the ministry said Sabla was showing so much progress that the Centre had received proposals from the governments of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh to include more districts under the scheme.
However, the government has turned down the States’ requests due to budgetary constraints.
The official said the States were informed that budgetary allocation for Sabla for the 12th Plan Period was Rs 3,650 crore and as such, the scheme cannot be implemented in all the districts of the country.
The total number of beneficiaries under the scheme was 1,02,28,911 during 2014-15 and 48,68,553 in 2015-16. Sabla was launched in 2011. However, the Women and Child Development Ministry has increased the allocation of funds from Rs 75.50 crore earmarked initially to Rs 475.50 crore for the current fiscal following the requests made by the Sates.
‘Sabla’, also called the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG), is a Centrally-sponsored programme for girls aged between 11 and 18 that addresses their nutrition needs, healthcare and life skills education.