TIRUCHY: When Jeevandhan started investing in the Selvamagal Semippu Thittam (Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana) in the post office for his daughter, he started asking students in his school if their parents had also invested in this scheme. When the answer was in the negative, KS Jeevandhan, principal, Subbaih Memorial Middle School, a government-aided institution, thought of investing a basic amount for all girl students in his school eligible for this scheme.
Jeevandhan has invested Rs 250 each in the scheme on behalf of the 28 girl students in his school who are below 10 years old. “The students hail from poor backgrounds and their parents did not know about this scheme. I wanted to do this to secure their financial future. Nobody cares for these children at home so it is our responsibility to do what their parents would do for them,” said Jeevandhan.
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is for the girl child and can be started for children below the age of 10. The initial investment can begin from Rs. 250 up to a maximum of Rs. 1.5 lakh annually with further deposits in multiples of Rs. 100. The deposit matures 21 years from the date of account opening or until marriage of the girl after she turns 18.
The children in the school hail from disadvantaged backgrounds. Teachers say most of the children have single parents who are struggling to find a job or are working on minimum wage. The principal has started this scheme and hoped their parents would contribute something to it whenever they can. He also plans to deposit any amount received by sponsors into these children’s accounts every year.
Being a fully government-aided school, whatever the government does not provide, the school does. Right from shoes, ties and belts, students are provided everything for free. The school also sends a van to pick up students, again, free of cost. The school practises inclusive education and has 32 specially abled children who study with the other students. A special educator from the government visits once a week, while the school has its own teachers who are trained to educate these students. The principal said, “Everything is free for students. We just need them to turn up every day.” If a student misses school for a few days, teachers visit their homes and find out the problem. They try their best to ensure students do not drop out.