The schemes that government has for the poor

In our ongoing focus on Below Poverty Line (BPL) families and the various welfare schemes that they are entitled to, we have already reported that many of those eligible aren’t even aware of the government schemes meant for their benefit.

If you are one of those who know a BPL family — whether your help, cook or security guard at home — and would like to help them avail such schemes, here is a reference list of important welfare schemes for the poor, sponsored by the Central and State governments.


Members of a women’s self help group in Jayanagar, Bangalore (File image). Pic: Navya P K

Health and Family Welfare Department

  • Vajpayee Arogyashree: This health insurance scheme allows BPL families to get cashless treatments for major ailments in empanelled super speciality hospitals. Under this scheme, Arogya Mitras identify beneficiaries and guides them in the process. For more information click on this link.

  • Yeshasvini: Yeshasvini scheme is a self-funded health insurance scheme open to all rural co-operative society members and members of self-help groups. Under this scheme, beneficiaries registered under societies or SHGs, contribute a small amount of money every year to avail any possible surgery during the period. To avail the benefit of the scheme, the person should be a member of the society or SHG. For more info read here.

Women and Child Welfare Department

  • Bhagyalakshmi: It promotes the birth of girl children in BPL families. Enrollment of the mother and child is allowed for up to one year from the birth of the child on production of her birth certificate. After enrollment and due verification by the Department, an amount of Rs 10,000 will be deposited with the selected financial institution in the girl child’s name. The amount with interest rate will be made available to the beneficiary when she is 18. Here are the eligibility criteria for registering under the scheme in any of the government hospitals.

  • Integrated Child Development Services: This programme intends to provide nutritional and health benefits to children. The scheme provides supplementary nutrition, immunisation, health check-ups for children below 6 years and pregnant and lactating mothers. These are provided in anganwadi centres through anganwadi workers.

Food and Civil Supplies Department

  • Anna Bhagyascheme: The scheme was launched to distribute food grains free of cost to priority household (Antyodaya Anna Yojana + BPL) families. Rice and wheat are distributed for Rs 1 per kg, while sugar, palm oil and iodized salt are sold at discount prices. These commodities are sold to eligible families in fair price shops across the State. BPL families are entitled to get the grains and commodities under the scheme by producing BPL cards at the nearest fair price shop.

Social Welfare Department

  • PETC training scheme: Pre-examination Training Centre provides training for competitive exams and for other livelihoods, such as nursing and paramedical courses, pilot training, airhostess training, hospitality management, NIFT, CIPET etc, to eligible scheduled caste and scheduled tribe youth. Publicity for coaching is given through media advertisements and through district social welfare officers. For more information, the PETC office may be reached at 080-22207784.

  • Pre-matric and post-matric scholarships: The government offers pre-matric and post-matric scholarships to students belonging to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities. The upper family income limit for availing pre-matric scholarship is Rs 2 lakh and for post-matric, it is Rs 2.5 lakh.

Eligible students with caste and income certificate are eligible to get the following amounts:

Classes 1 to 4 – Rs 750 for boys and Rs 850 for girls;

Classes 5 to 7 – Rs 900 for boys and Rs 1,000 for girls;

Classes 8, 9 and 10 – Rs 2,000 for boys and Rs 2,050 for girls.

The amount varies for college-going students based on their course and the college/university they are studying in. Applications are to be filed online.

  • Financial assistance to inter-caste married couples: This is a scheme to remove untouchability and prejudice associated with the caste system. Under this scheme, the Social Welfare Department offers financial assistance of Rs 50,000 to inter-caste married couples.

One of the couple (husband or wife) should belong to the Scheduled Caste community to be eligible for this scheme and the total income of the couple should not exceed Rs 50,000 per annum. Eligible couples should make an application along with relevant documents to the concerned Taluk Social Welfare Officer. For more information read this link.


Despite tens of social welfare schemes for the marginalised, lives of BPL families has not changed to a greater extent. Pic: Akshatha M

Dr B R Ambedkar Development Corporation Ltd (for Scheduled Castes)

  • Self employment programme: Under this programme, eligible candidates can avail bank loan and government aid upto Rs one lakh for starting any self-employment venture, for example opening a small/petty shop, fishing, agriculture etc. Here is the list of eligibility criteria, application and selection process for the same.

  • Self employment scheme above Rs one lakh: Under this scheme eligible members from the scheduled caste community can avail financial aid and bank loan from Rs one lakh to Rs 7.50 lakh, to start a small business like opening electrical shop, clothes shop, purchasing passenger car, goods carrier etc. Here is the eligibility criteria, application and selection process for the scheme.

  • Land purchase scheme: Under the land purchase scheme, one acre of wetland or two acres of dry land can be purchased from non-SC/ST land owners. The maximum unit cost is Rs 10 lakh of which 50 per cent will be subsidy and 50 per cent will be term loan. Click on the link to know the eligibility criteria, application and selection process.

  • Micro finance scheme: This is a group scheme where financial assistance is provided to members of the self-help groups to start small businesses. Maximum unit cost is Rs 15,000 of which Rs 10,000 is subsidy and Rs 5,000 is margin money loan. Here is the detail.

  • Micro credit scheme: Under this scheme, financial assistance will be sanctioned for small business activities. The maximum unit cost is Rs 25,000 of which the corporation gives a subsidy of Rs 10,000 and NSFDC will give a term loan of Rs 15,000.

Backward Classes Welfare Department

  • Pre-matric and post-matric scholarships are offered to students belonging to sub-caste 1, 2A, 3A and 3B. Pre-matric scholarship amount given is as follows: 1st to 5th std – Rs 750; 6th to 8th std – Rs 900; 9th and 10th std – Rs 1,000. More information can be found here. Post-matric scholarships are as follows: For sub-caste 1 – Rs 3,500; sub-caste 2A – Rs 3,350; sub-caste 3A – Rs 2,100; sub-caste 3B – Rs 1,600. For more info read here.

Scheduled Tribes Welfare Department

  • Employment and scholarship schemes are same as those given to scheduled caste communities, mentioned above. For more information read here.

Karnataka Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribes Development Corporation

  • Self employment/ Industries business services scheme: Under this scheme loans are sanctioned to eligible scheduled tribe community members. A selection committee chaired by the MLA will select the beneficiaries.

  • Land purchase scheme: To get the facility under Land Purchase Scheme, the beneficiary should be a female landless agricultural labourer from scheduled tribes. The land seller should not be from scheduled caste or scheduled tribe community.

  • Micro-credit finance scheme: Under this scheme, the loan amount is given to self-help groups selected by a committee chaired by the MLA. The SHGs are charged an annual interest at 4 percent on the loan amount.

For more information about the above three schemes click here.

Directorate of Social Security and Pensions 

These are various central and state government pension and social security schemes for the poor. These schemes aim at ensuring a minimum national standard of social assistance.

  • Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme: This is a pension scheme for senior citizens above the age of 60 below poverty line. The amount paid to the beneficiaries in the age group of 60-64 years is Rs 200 per month, in the age group of 65-79 is Rs 500 and for those above the age of 80 is Rs 750. Documents to be submitted to avail the benefit includes income certificate and documents to certify the age and home address.

  • Widow Pension Scheme: Widow pension is given to women above the age of 18 who have lost their husband. The beneficiary should belong to a BPL family. The amount given is Rs 500 per month. Documents required are death certificate of the woman’s husband, age certificate and documents to certify income and address.

  • Disabled pension: Under this scheme, people with 40-75 per cent of disability will get a monthly pension of Rs 500 and those with over 75 per cent disability are eligible to get a pension of Rs 1,200. Documents required are income certificate, medical certificate, documents to certify age and address.

  • Sandhya Suraksha Scheme: This pension scheme is meant for small farmers, agriculture labourers, weavers, fishermen and workers in the unorganised sector who are above the age of 60. Beneficiaries are eligible to avail a monthly pension of Rs 500. The combined income of husband and wife should not be more than Rs 20,000, their combined deposit should not exceed Rs 10,000, and they must not have been availing any other government pension schemes.

  • Ideal Marriage Scheme: To encourage simple and mass marriages, the government does a fixed deposit of Rs 10,000 in bride’s name for a period of two years. It is applicable to marriages where a minimum of 25 couples are married under a single roof. Documents required are age certificate, marriage registration certificate and the list prepared by the mass marriage organisers with name of couples getting married.

To avail any of the services under the Directorate of Social Security and Pensions, the individuals should apply in the office of Nada Kacheri.

Related Articles

So many social welfare schemes for the poor, who benefits?
Welfare schemes for the poor: Lost between the cup and the lip

Akshatha M
About Akshatha M 218 Articles
Akshatha M is a Staff Journalist at Citizen Matters. She tweets at @akshata1.

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