Almost 4 years ago, ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’
one of the flagship schemes aimed to address gender imbalance and discrimination against the girl child
was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
. In fact, this is one of the major schemes introduced by the government to generate awareness and improve the efficiency of welfare services intended for girls.
This is a national initiative jointly run by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Human Resource Development to address the issue of the declining child sex ratio
(CSR) across the country. Even though this has been implemented in various states, how far has it achieved its objective is a question as the recent report of the Economic Survey 2017-18 on over 21 million 'unwanted girls'
in India highly contradicts with this scheme.The strategies employed to successfully carry out the scheme are as follows.
- Implement a sustained Social Mobilization and Communication Campaign to create equal value for the girl child and promote her education.
- Place the issue of the decline in CSR/SRB in public discourse, improvement of which would be an indicator of good governance.
- Focus on Gender Critical Districts and Cities.
According to NITI Aayog’s report on Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB), there was a significant decline of 10 points or more recorded in various states. In Gujarat, the Sex Ratio at Birth dipped to 854 females from 907 females per 1,000 males. Gujarat was closely followed by the state of Haryana which registered a decline of 35 points and the trailed by Rajasthan (32 points), Uttarakhand (27 points), Maharashtra (18 points), Karnataka (11 points), Chhattisgarh (12 points), Himachal Pradesh (14 points) and the list goes on. Favourably, Punjab was registered with the refinement of an increase of 19 points, followed by Uttar Pradesh (10 points) and Bihar (9 points).
Even though ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ scheme was introduced by the Modi government in Haryana, known to be an unsafe land for both women and children
, in the year 2015 with so much boasting and exaggeration, ground reality hasn’t changed a bit so far. This not only implies the publicity given to each campaign but also demonstrates the shortfalls in executing these policies at grass root level.
The real menaces like child marriage, child labour, selective sex abortion aren’t taken seriously in various states though they are illegal. Atrocities and assaults against children and women
aren’t even dwindling even after so many protests and agitations. Those policies implemented by the government after investing a huge amount of money are also falling flat on various grounds. The issues can only be resolved if the change begins within. And, instead of advertising so much on the schemes for mere publicity, the government’s focus should shift to educate the public and delivering what they have promised.