Encouraging Inter-Caste marriages has been one of the ways by which the Government aims to reduce caste prejudices and caste based discrimination. Though Central Assistance has been extended to states for many years, the dedicated scheme of the Dr. Ambedkar Foundation seems to have few takers. Out of the proposed target of 500, only 19 have availed the scheme so far in 2015.
Encouraging Inter-Caste marriages has been one of the ways by which the Government aims to reducing caste prejudices and caste based discrimination. The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has been funding a centrally Sponsored Scheme where in Central assistance is provided to the State Governments and Union Territory Administrations, towards incentive for inter-caste marriages, where one of the spouses belongs to a Scheduled Castes. This scheme was part of the implementation of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of atrocities) Act, 1989.
The incentive for inter-caste marriage in states varied from as low as Rs 5000 to as high as Rs 100000 in Goa. The center released assistance to the tune of 68.6 crore in 2009-10, 69.8 crore in 2010-11, 72 crore in 2011-12. While this central assistance is still in place, Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, an institution under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has come up with a dedicated central scheme; ‘Dr. Ambedkar Scheme for Social Integration through Inter-Caste Marriages’ for encouraging inter-caste marriages.
Dr. Ambedkar Scheme for Social Integration through Inter-Caste Marriages
The scheme was launched in 2013. The following documents must be submitted along with the application.
- Attested copy of the caste certificate for both bride and bridegroom
- Marriage certificate duly registered under the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955
- An affidavit of their being legally married and in matrimonial alliance
- A certificate to the effect that it is the first marriage of both the bride and the bridegroom
- Income certificate of both the bride and the bridegroom
Only 19 couples received incentive in 2015
Till date, the incentive has been sanctioned to only 19 couples in 2015. Out of the 19 couples who received the incentive, 5 each are from Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, 3 each from New Delhi & West Bengal, 2 from Haryana and one from Rajasthan.
Despite the relatively high incentive amount of Rs 2.5 lakh, lack of awareness is evident in the utility of the scheme. A less than 5% achievement speaks volumes about the status of implementation.