The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) is a welfare programme being administered by the Ministry of Rural Development. Both urban and rural areas look forward to its implementation. This programme is basically a very crucial step towards the fulfilment of some significant principles. These are the directive principles of State Policy mentioned in the Constitution of India. These principles aim to address the states to take a number of steps or initiate the welfare measures for the betterment of their state. Now to be more clear the article 41 of the Constitution of India is explained. It gives suitable directions and promotes some facilities to be provided by the state. These include public assistance, old age, sickness and disability. Another needs such as the economic constraints and wants and also development is kept in mind.
The aim and objectives of the programme are very clear and the initiative is also convincing. This program brings in the role of the Constitution of India which increases its weight.
National Social Assistance Program comes under a Centrally sponsored scheme launched on 15th August 1995. This centrally sponsored scheme comprises of National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS), National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) and National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS).
All these schemes are a unique and effective effort in themselves.
Selection of Beneficiaries
The identification of the beneficiaries is another important task. The Gram Panchayat / Municipalities will do it and the expectations are high that they will play an active role.
Now comes the disbursal which has different ways for its implementation. The disbursement can also take place through online transactions. This can be through the account of the beneficiaries in Banks, Post office, savings banks or Postal Money.
There is another mode of the disbursal which is the offline mode. Under this, Gram Sabha meetings of the rural areas or the social committees of the urban areas are kept as a means for the disbursal.
The National Social Assistance Program has another five schemes falling under it. These are:
Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS)
This scheme is limited to a particular group of people. The age of the person must be 60 years and above. Also, he/she should belong to the Below poverty line category. This criterion is set by the government of India and only these people are eligible for all the benefits under the program.
The pension is set according to the age group as follows:
60-79 years of age – RS. 400 per person per month
80 years and above – RS. 500 per person per month
An equal contribution for the scheme is expected from the states as well.
Now comes the other one.
Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS)
The criteria of this program are such that people who belong to an age group of 18-59 years and have major and multiple disabilities provided they belong to the BPL families can only avail the benefits of the scheme.
A monthly pension of Rs. 300 will be provided.
National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS)
Now the criteria of this scheme are that if the primary earning person of the family dies, a particular amount will be provided to that BPL household.
The primary earner must belong to an age group of 18-64 years.
A total sum of 20, 000 is provided to the family for assistance.
The senior citizens who were eligible but not covered under NOAPS will be provided 10 kg food grains per month free of cost. This initiative is very good in itself and motivates a lot of people.
The National Social Assistance Program is a very effective initiative taken up by the government of India. The schemes which come under this program are very effective with a different and unique aim. The program is taken up to initiate funds which are very much required by a certain group of people.
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