Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin launched phase 2 of the ‘Pudumai Penn’ scheme, a scholarship scheme, at the Hindu College near Avadi in Chennai on Wednesday.
The scheme involves the distribution of a scholarship amount of ₹1,000 per month to girl students pursuing their higher studies after completing their schooling at a government school. The scholarship is provided through the Social Welfare Department.
After the launching of the second phase of the scheme, the CM said, a total of 1.16 lakh students have benefitted through this scholarship programme so far, at a cost of ₹69.44 crore.
The first phase of the ‘Pudumai Penn’ scheme was launched by Mr. Stalin at a function held in the city on September 5 last year. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal participated in the function then.
Mr. Stalin said the scholarship was distributed in the name of Moovalur Ramamirtham Ammaiyar as she, along with Thanthai Periyar, began a revolution for the development of girl children, in terms of getting them educational facilities, more than 100 years ago. He said the launch of this scheme has helped in increasing the enrollment of girl students in higher studies by more than 27%, when compared to last year.
Mr. Stalin said that he was happy to launch the second phase of the scholarship scheme at Hindu College, an institution he had visited 33 years ago. He said Dharmamurthi Raobahadur Calavala Cunnan Chetty, in whose name the Hindu College is functioning, was a visionary, helping in the spread of education by starting schools and colleges in Sowcarpet, Chintadripet, Parry’s and Pattabiram, to help economically backward sections of communities to access education.
Pointing out the importance of women’s education in helping with nation building, the CM said education also helped make every women financially independent. He said he wanted all girl students to utilise the scholarship scheme.
The Chief Minister said the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) administration follows the ‘Dravidian Model’ which stands for women empowerment and development. He cited the several contributions of the DMK administration in women empowerment and development through the legislation of equal rights for women in ancestral properties by former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi in 1989; allotting 30% seats for women in government jobs, and helping provide finances to Self Help Groups (SHGs) to help women lead financially independent lives. Above all, the free travel for women in government buses scheme, launched after he he took oath as Chief Minister, has helped in more than 180 crore free travel trips taken by women commuters, he said.
Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy, Social Welfare Minister Geetha Jeevan and Dairy Development Minister S.M. Nasar, participated in the function.