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Assam government plans to spend Rs 800 crore on Arundhati scheme to discourage child marriages in the state

Besides reducing child marriage, the scheme also aims to economically empower newly married couples and provide them with a prospect of bettering their future.

In order to reduce the number of child marriages happening in Assam, state Minister for P.W.D, Health and Finance, Himanta Biswa Sarma, has announced that the Assam government in the state will spend Rs 800 crores per year under Arundhati scheme. Through this scheme, the brides belonging to Economically Weaker Section (EWS) will be given 1 tola(10gms) of gold free, provided they register their marriage.

Assam Arundhati Gold Scheme was announced by the state Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on February 6, 2019, while presenting State Budget 2019. Under the Assam Arundhati Gold Scheme state government will provide One Tola (10 Gm) Gold worth Rs 38000 to new marriages brides of economic weaker section (EWS), whose parents’ annual income from all sources is up to 5 lakh Rupees.

With the stated aim of discouraging cold marriages, the Assam government approved the Arundhati scheme that incentivises marriage registration. Child marriage is prescribed under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act which states that a girl in India cant get married before the age of 18, and a boy cant get married before 21 years of age.  Brides belonging to EVS can avail the scheme by formal registration of the marriage under the Special  Marriage (Assam) Rules, 1954 at the time of marriage.

The claimant of Arundhati scheme will have to apply one month in advance from the date of marriage. However, if the claimant applies post-marriage, then the benefits can only be availed when he/she applies within one year from the date of their wedding. Those applying after one year of their marriage would not be granted benefits of the scheme.

Besides reducing child marriage, the scheme also aims to economically empower newly married couples and provide them with a prospect of bettering their future.

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