Shagun scheme, managed by the Department of Welfare of Scheduled Caste and Backward Classes and powered by the Government of Punjab, is not just helping the girls from Scheduled castes, Christian community, backward classes and other economically weaker strata, it is a blessing to their families as well for them to be able to perform the weddings of their daughters with dignity.
The Shagun scheme, started by the Government of Punjab with effect from April 1, 1997, played a vital role in helping the underprivileged families at the time of marriage of their daughters. To ensure timely delivery of benefits, 100% amount under this welfare scheme is being credited to the accounts of beneficiaries using online banking management system.
An amount of Rs. 5100/- was given to the parents/ guardians of girls belonging to Scheduled Caste and to the widows/ divorcees of Punjab domicile under the Shagun scheme on the occasion of their marriage w.e.f. 1-4-1997 subject to the condition that annual income of parents/ guardians from all sources does not exceed Rs. 16,000/-. The scope of the scheme was extended to Christian girls at the time of their marriage w.e.f. 1-9-1997 on the same terms and conditions.
The scheme was renamed as Ashirwad from 26-1-2004 and under this scheme the amount of shagun was enhanced from Rs. 5100/- to Rs. 6100/- for Scheduled Caste/Christian girls and daughters of widows of any caste at the time of their marriages. From 1-4-2006, the rate of financial assistance was enhanced from Rs. 6100/- to Rs. 15000/-. The amount was given only to the parents/guardians of Scheduled Castes/Christians daughters and daughters of widows of any caste at the time of their marriage w.e.f. 1-4-2011 subject to the condition that annual income of the parents/guardians from all sources does not exceed Rs. 30,000/-. This benefit is extended to widows/divorcees at the time of their re-marriage .
As per the revised norms, the benefit is given to those families at the time of marriage of their daughters who fulfill the following conditions:
- Financial assistance of Rs. 15,000/- is given to Scheduled Castes/Christian girls, Backward Classes/Castes, Economically weaker section girls, daughters of widows of any caste at the time of their marriage and Scheduled Castes widows/divorcees at the time of their re-marriage.
- That the girl should be 18 years old or above.
- That the annual income of the family from all sources does not exceed Rs. 32,790/- w.e.f. 13-2-2014.
- Under this scheme the applicant will have to submit his application for getting financial assistance in prescribed proforma before the date of marriage or within 30 days of the marriage of the girl.
- Parents/guardians of the girl should be domiciles of Punjab State.
- The amount of shagun is limited upto two girls of concerned family under shagun scheme.
Previously, payment was made to the concerned beneficiaries through PLA cheques, through the concerned district welfare officers. The disbursement of financial assistance (Shagun) has been started through online banking management system directly in the accounts of beneficiaries from January, 2012, which has been proved very successful method and in favour of poor beneficiaries that cut down delay and harassment of beneficiaries.
Documents that need to be submitted while applying for the service are as under:
- Proof of residence /domicile
- Document with self declaration of annual income of the family
- Proof of date of Birth
- Verified form by the Sarpanch / Gazetted officer / Panch / Nambardar / Ward Councillor / President Nagar Conceal / Mayor / MLA
- Proof of Below Poverty Line (if applicable)