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ABAD scheme

Process Evaluation of the Haryana Government’s Apni Beti Apna Dhan (ABAD) Programme. This research is being conducted in three districts in Haryana between September 2012 and May 2013. CORD is working in collaboration with the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), India. The research is part of a larger study being undertaken by ICRW – “IMPACCT”, which has both quantitative and qualitative components.

The ABAD scheme was operational in Haryana between 1994 and 1998. Government of Haryana’s stated objective of the scheme was to raise the status of a girl child in society. It also sought to improve the status of a mother who delivers a girl child. Under the scheme the mother was paid Rs. 500/- to meet her nutritional requirements within 15 days of a daughter’s birth, provided the girl was the first, second or third child in the family. An amount of Rs. 2500/- was to be invested in an “Indira Vikas Patra” in the name of the new born baby. This certificate was to be handed over to the family within 3 months of the birth, to be encashed for Rs. 25,000 when the girl turned 18, provided she had remained unmarried. An indirect benefit of the scheme was delayed marriage for girls. The scheme was open to all families belonging to SC/BC categories (except Gazetted Officers); and to families of “general castes” who had BPL status (income below the poverty line).

October 2012 marks the beginning of the cashing out process when the first beneficiaries of the scheme turn 18. CORD is involved in evaluating the process of implementation. The study uses qualitative research methods. It involves in-depth interviews with officials who were involved in operationalising the scheme in the nineties, and with young women in the 14-17 year age group, and their parents (potential beneficiaries of the scheme). The interviews with girls and their parents are being conducted both with families who have enrolled in the ABAD scheme, and those who were eligible to enroll but did not. There will also be Focus Group Discussions with older men and women in the community, to explore norms and values in the community pertaining to girls, as they are now, and as they were 15-20 years ago. Adolescent boys in the 14-17 year age group will also be asked about their perspectives on similar themes.

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