In a major development, the Kerala government has granted a fund of Rs 20 lakh as financial aid for the education of children of jail inmates. A total of Rs 15 lakh has been sanctioned for the assistance of their basic education and Rs 5 lakh as the assistance for their professional studies, state Social Justice Minister KK Shylaja said on Saturday.
The education fund is provided as part of the 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 suddenly´ Minister said. 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 as the male member is jailed.
Children aged below five years, and those studying in 1st to 5th standard would get Rs 300 each per month, while those studying in 6th to 10th standard Rs 500, those in higher secondary Rs 750 and children pursuing degree and other professional courses would receive Rs 1000 each per month. As the fee structure is different for various courses, Rs one lakh is allowed maximum for each student, they said. Children of Below Poverty Line (BPL) are 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 said.