Ashraya stands out as a unique scheme in destitute identification and rehabilitation because of certain key features. These features have been built into the very design of the scheme; some of them were there from the beginning, while some others were added subsequently based on experience.
- Kudumbashree CDS is the designated agency for implementation
- Destitute families are identified by NHGs, verified by ADS, eligibility checked at the CDS, and approved by the Grama Panchayat Committee.
- Objective and transparent process for identification of destitute families
- Integrated approach addressing the survival needs, basic amenities, continued support, and development of destitute families through a package of care services
- Multi-year projects; three year duration initially, extendable through projects for continued support to the needy
- Individual micro projects for every destitute family, prepared at the NHG level
- Micro projects combined at the CDS level, and integrated with the Grama Panchayat’s Plan
- Financing by central, State government support, contributions by District and Block Panchayats and plan fund of the respective Grama Panchayats; Attempts to mobilise financial and other support from agencies and individuals
- Utilisation of existing schemes:
- Land for house construction for the homeless by Grama Panchayat
- House under Indira Awas Yojana (IAY)
- Electrification through Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana
- Drinking water through the special scheme of Kerala Water Authority (KWA) covering BPL families, and
- Latrine through support from Total Sanitation Mission and so on.
- Challenge Fund for Grama Panchayats that decided to provide food to the destitute family. Challenge Fund up to Rs 25 lakh (Initially Rs 10 lakh; later revised to Rs 25 lakh), limited to 40% of the total project cost.
- Special Ashraya Projects for tribal families under Tribal Sub Plan
- Challenge fund Rs 40 lakh subject to the ceiling of 40% of the total outlay
- Challenge fund can be used for all components other than those relating to creation of basic amenities
The way Ashraya evolved into a comprehensive scheme can be seen from the various government orders, circulars, and directions that have been issued over the years.