The West Bengal government has won the prestigious United Nations (UN) Public Service Award for the ‘Kanyashree Prakalpa’ initiative aimed to combat child marriage and ensure education to the girl child in the state.
- On June 23, 2017, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee received the 2017 UN Public Service Award at a ceremony held in The Hague, Netherlands on behalf of her government.
- West Bengal Government has been awarded in the category of “ability to reach the poorest and most vulnerable communities through inclusive services and participation”.
- After receiving the award, Ms. Mamata Banerjee tweeted “Receiving the first prize from @UN for #Kanyashree is a huge honour and recognition.”
- The West Bengal government was among the 12 institutions from 11 countries that were recognised by the United Nations on UN Public Service Day– 23rd
- India is among the first place winners of the public service awards along with Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mongolia and the UK. The second place winners are projects from Botswana, Colombia, France and Thailand.
About ‘Kanyashree Prakalpa’ initative of West Bengal Government:
“Kanyashree Prakalpa” is a targeted conditional cash transfer scheme aimed at retaining girls in schools and other educational and skill development institutions and preventing child marriage.
- It was launched in October 2013.
- The scheme has already enrolled more than 40 lakh adolescent girls.
- The Government of West Bengal so far, has transferred about $ 500 Million directly to the beneficiaries’ bank account.
- The scheme is being implemented through 16000 institutes and schools.
- Citing the impact of this initiative, the UN said it led to a “drastic reduction in child marriage, increase in female education and female empowerment.”
About UN Public Service Awards:
The UN Public Service Awards are given to institutions from across the world for their innovation and excellence in providing public services.
- The Award recognizes achievements and contributions by public service institutions in three categories: ability to reach the poorest and most vulnerable communities through inclusive services and participation; efforts to promote transparency, accountability and integrity in public service; and innovation and excellence in delivering health services.
- In order to level the playing field for nominations received from countries with varying levels of development and income, the following five regions have been established, including: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Western Asia.
- Since 2003, more than 250 initiatives in 82 countries have received the UN Public Service Award.
- UN Public Service Awards’ winners are recognized during UN Public Service Day on 23rd June of every year.