Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme is a campaign of the government of India to address the issue of the declining child sex ratio in India. It focuses on multi-sector action and keeps widening the area of impact. Read here to know the details of the scheme.
Since 1961, there has been a steady drop in the Child Sex Ratio (CSR), which is the proportion of females to boys aged 0 to 6 per 1000.
It is concerning that the number fell from 945 in 1991 to 927 in 2001 and then to 918 in 2011.
A key sign of women’s disempowerment is the CSR’s fall.
- CSR demonstrates discrimination against girls both before and after birth, as seen in gender-biased sex selection.
- The simple accessibility, cost, and consequent misuse of diagnostic techniques on the one hand, and social constructs that discriminate against girls on the other, have all played a significant role in expanding the sex-selective elimination of girls and resulting in a low child-sex ratio.
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP Scheme)
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao was launched by the Prime Minister on 22 January 2015 in Panipat, Haryana.
The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme aims to help in addressing the issue of the decline in the child sex ratio throughout the country and to encourage related to the empowerment of women.
The scheme is being implemented by three ministries:
- Ministry of Women and Child Development
- Ministry of Health, Family Welfare
- Ministry of Education
The main objectives of this scheme are:
- Improve the child-sex ratio
- Prevention of gender-biased sex-selective elimination.
- Ensuring the survival & protection of the girl child.
- Ensuring education and participation of the girl child.
- Protecting rights of Girl children.
The scheme is divided into three components:
- advocacy campaigns were launched to address the issue of declining CSR and SBR;
- multi-sectoral interventions were planned and are being implemented in gender-critical districts across the country;
- a financial incentive-linked scheme, the Sukanya Samriddhi scheme, was launched to encourage parents to build a fund for female children.
The scheme outlines measurable outcomes and indicators to monitor progress in these 640 districts. The performance targets are as follows:
- Improve SRB in select gender-critical districts by 2 points per year
- Reduce gender differentials in the under-five child mortality rate metric by 1.5 points per year
- Provide functional toilets for girls in every school in select districts
- Increase first-trimester antenatal care registration by 1% per year
- Improve nutritional status by reducing the number of underweight and anemic girls (under five years of age)
Key beneficiaries under the BBBP initiative are as follows:
Expansion of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme
Expanding the mandate of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padao’ scheme, the inclusion of the skilling of girls in non-traditional livelihood (NTL) options in its flagship program was announced.
The scheme will now also focus on increasing the enrolment of girls in secondary education, particularly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects.
- Women have been historically under-represented in areas such as technology.
Girls will receive skill training in non-traditional professions through this project, making them torchbearers of a women-led Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India).
Some of the new aims for the scheme include:
- ensuring a 1% increment in enrolment at the secondary level and skilling of girls and women every year
- raising awareness about safe menstrual hygiene
- promulgating the elimination of child marriages.
- ensuring adolescents complete their education, build skills, and enter the workforce in a diverse range of professions.
A national committee headed by the Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, formed under the larger Mission Shakti mandate, will be the apex committee to review the implementation of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme at regular intervals with State governments and Union Territory administrations.
Other Initiatives to Support Girl Children
- Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana
- CBSE Udaan Scheme
- National Scheme of Incentives to Girls for Secondary Education
- National Girl Child Day
- Scheme for Adolescent Girls
In 2021, a parliamentary committee on the empowerment of women flagged underutilization of the funds allocated under the BBBP scheme:
- It was found that only 25.13% of the funds had been spent by states and union territories.
- About 80% of those funds were spent on advertisements and campaigns even after existing guidelines on how much each component should be spent.
- The implementation of the scheme did not produce desired results in many states, especially Punjab and Haryana.
- The Central Government has expanded the mandate of its flagship scheme ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ (BBBP Scheme) by announcing the inclusion of the skilling of girls in non-traditional livelihood (NTL) options.
The BBBP plan has improved key performance metrics mentioned in its aim objectives throughout its first five years of implementation. But the overall performance has not been up to the mark as per CAG reports.
The government intends to conduct a thorough district-level survey to evaluate progress and identify implementation roadblocks in order to advance the program’s success.
With or without the survey, it is evident that more attention is still required for the betterment of the status of girl children.
The BBBP scheme is also a subscheme of Mission Shakti launched for Strengthening Interventions for Women’s Safety, Security and Empowerment.
-Article written by Swathi Satish
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