The Odisha government’s Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) has announced a cash award of Rs 2.5 lakh to the person marrying a Person with Disability (PwD). This comes after the ST/SC Development department’s announcement of Rs 2.5 lakh cash incentive for marriage between SC/ST and the other caste members.

Earlier, the government was giving a cash reward of 50,000 for the marriage between the PwDs.

“The enhanced incentive will enable the couple to lead a normal and dignified life and also encourage people to marry a PwD,” an official of SSPED said as quoted by The New Indian Express.

The department will grant the financial incentive only after proper scrutiny of the newly wed couple. The man and woman must be at least 21 and 18 years of age respectively before marrying each other. Another condition to avail the cash reward is that either of spouses must not have availed any incentive award under the scheme earlier. Also, no dowry will be allowed by either of the two parties in such a marriage.

Any couple can apply for the cash initiative under this scheme with their marriage registration certificate. However, they can withdraw the incentive amount only after completing three years of marriage. The incentive amount will remain fixed in the joint account of the couple until then.