More than 1.23 million people have applied for the Lakshmi Bhandar Scheme, an initiative of the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government to provide basic income support to female heads.
According to West Government officials, 12,26,611 people across the state turned up at different camps set up to apply for the Lakshmi Bhandar Scheme. “We never expected the turnout to be so large. It broke all records of applications for a scheme on the launch day,” said the officer.
Prior to launching the scheme, the West Bengal chief secretary directed all district magistrates to manage the crowd properly and ensure the Covid-19-appropriate behaviour.
The state chief secretary also instructed the district magistrates to open an adequate number of registration camps with several counters. The instructions came to prevent a large number of people from gathering in a single camp.
The district administrators have also been instructed to educate people about the Lakshmi Bhandar Scheme.
Several people have been rushing to the registration camps to receive money from the first day itself. “The district magistrates have been asked to educate people that first they have to register for the scheme and once registration is done money will be credited in their bank account from September,” said a senior West Government administrative officer.
The officer added that the largest number of people — 2,13,750 — turned up at registration camps in South 24 Parganas. Besides, 1,31,844 in Murshidabad, 44,625 in North Dinajpur, 7,82 in West Midnapore, 74,426 in East Midnapore, 20,790 in Alipurduar, 54,26 in Birbhum and 21,748 in South Dinajpur 62,506 in East Burdwan, 57,100 in Coochbehar, 34,340 in Malda, 28,631 in Jhargram, 45,608 in Bankura, 12,695 in West Burdwan, 34,720 in Jalpaiguri. 20,955 in Darjeeling, 56,496 in Nadia, 42,613 in Purulia, 48,914 in Howrah, 2,341 in Kalimpong and 10,448 in Kolkata.
As part of the scheme, the West Bengal government will give Rs 500 to the female head of the family to provide basic income support to the family.