1 crore 25 lakh marginalized people of 262 upazilas of the country are getting benefits under the government's safety net scheme which is playing a significant role in poverty alleviation.
Secretary of Social Welfare Khairul Alam Sheikh said that a large number of rural marginalized people of the country are getting the benefits of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's safety net scheme.
He said the government has expanded social safety net programs to help rural marginalized people to overcome all economic hardships and lead a better life.
He further said that the government is working with Hijras, Bedes, tea workers and other marginalized communities to bring marginalized people under the social protection program.
Recently, the Social Welfare Minister said that the government is working sincerely to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 to eradicate poverty and build the country as a 'Golden Bangla' as dreamed by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
According to the Ministry of Social Welfare, the total number of beneficiaries of the four social security schemes currently stands at 1.25 crore. Among them, 58.01 lakh are elderly, 25.75 lakh widows and abused women and 29 lakh physically challenged people.
It is said that the government is giving cash allowance of Tk. 600 per month to the elderly, Tk. 550 to widows and abused women and Tk. 850 to the physically challenged.
The government has allocated Tk. 112.24 crore as education stipend for 1.0 lakh physically challenged students in the current financial year (2023-2024). The secretary said that allowances are given directly through MFS (Mobile Financial Services) following the Government-to-Person (G-to-P) system among the elderly, widows and abused women and financially indigent physically challenged persons. Education stipend is also being distributed to physically challenged students under the SSN program.
He said that Bangabandhu's celebrated daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has introduced allowances for the destitute, old, physically challenged, destitute, widows, oppressed women and stipends for various underprivileged students.
Besides, the government has been providing assistance for the education of helpless, underprivileged children and disabled youth. Education stipend program has been launched for students with disabilities.
Initially, 12,209 students with disabilities were brought under this program through the Department of Social Services in FY 2007-2008. In FY 2023-24, the number of beneficiaries was 1.0 lakh.
Each physically challenged student at primary level is getting Tk. 750 per month, secondary level student is Tk. 800, higher secondary level student is Tk. 900 and higher level student is getting Tk. 1,300 per month. A total of 1 lakh students are getting stipend every month.
The number of third gender (transgender) people receiving an allowance of Tk. 600 per month has increased to Tk. 2,600. 5,066 people of Bede community are getting Tk. 600 monthly allowance.
Each tea worker is getting an annual allowance of Tk. 5 thousand and the number of tea workers has increased to 60 thousand.
Head of Media and Communications of Bangladesh Post Office's innovative and promising digital financial service 'Nagad', Zahidul Islam Sajal said that a total of 75 percent allowances are being distributed through ‘Nagad’.
All allowances launched by the government are ensuring direct disbursement of cash to the beneficiaries, he added.
The government is spending Tk. 3,500 per head per month on the Sheikh Russell Child Training and Rehabilitation Centre, while orphans in private orphanages are receiving Tk. 2,000 per head per month as grant.
In addition, the government is giving Tk. 50,000 annually for the treatment of an indigent patient with cancer, liver, kidney, liver cirrhosis, crippled by stroke and congenital heart disease and thalassemia.
Meanwhile, financial support has been given to ensure treatment of cancer, kidney, liver cirrhosis, paralysis, stroke, heart disease and thalassemia patients across the country.