Beti Bachao Beti Padhao – meaning ‘Save the Girl Child, Educate the Girl Child’, is an initiative by the Government of India to protect, nurture, and empower a girl child. Also known as the BBBP scheme, it has now transformed into a national campaign that runs across all states and union territories of India.Read more
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Beti Bachao Beti Padhao is a government plan for girl child launched by the Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi. Launched in January 2015, the scheme addresses the decreasing child sex ratio and related issues of women empowerment on a long-term basis.
Some key focus areas of the scheme are:
It lays emphasis on advancing the education of girl children.
The scheme works for a girl child’s empowerment in the early life stages of life to equip her to take charge of her future.
The scheme focuses on creating optimal conditions for improving the quality of women’s health, finances, education, and work experience.
All the members and departments under the scheme make sure to have an equal footing in rural as well as semi-urban and urban India.
It provides a financial impetus to their welfare through a small savings scheme, called the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana.
The scheme is now launched in full force in 100 gender-critical districts of India.
The major objective of the scheme is women’s empowerment at the grass-root level. The Scheme guidelines the following objectives:
Prevention of gender-based sex selection at birth
Celebrating the birth of girl child in India
Protection and survival for the girl child in India
Ensuring proper educative measures for the girl child
Mainstream participation of the empowered girl child
Stringent measures against the as per the anti-dowry act
Mandatory Registration of Marriages to prevent Child Marriage
The statistics from the Census 2011 observed a downward trend in the Child Sex Ratio (CSR). Some of the concerning facts were as follows –
In the age group of 0-6 years, 918 girls were reported per 1000 boys. This has gone down considerably from the 1961 Census, which reported 976 girls per 1000 boys.
Out of the 640 districts where the Child Sex Ratio sampling was done, 420 districts showed a steep decline in the number of the girl child. This was about two-thirds of the country.
Further, there were 244 districts in India that registered a CSR below the national average of 918.
With these concerns, the Government of India formed a National Executive Committee to promote Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) all over the country. The BBBP or the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign was launched in two phases across India.
Phase I- The first phase was launched in January 2015. The scheme was launched in 100 districts in India.
Phase II- The second phase was launched in February 2016. The scheme was launched and expanded to an additional 61 districts in India.
In March 2018, the BBBP Scheme was expanded to cover all 640 districts that were highlighted on the low CSR graph as per Census 2011. This was brought to the forefront by intervention and advocacy at the district level in each state in India.
The scheme mainly targets districts in Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Delhi, UP, and Uttarakhand. The scheme focuses on the three tiers of society:
Primary: Young couples, pregnant women, young or lactating women.
Secondary: Adolescents (both genders), Youth, family members along with medical practitioners in nursing homes, private hospitals, and diagnostic centers to discourage child sex determination before birth.
Tertiary: Frontline workers, officials, female workers, voluntary organizations, mass leaders, media personalities, medical and industrial associations, and the general public as a whole, to spread the message loud and clear.
As of now, the Scheme administration is through DDAs or the District Appropriate Authority. The Government directly transfers the funds to the concerned districts.
The Scheme has a tripartite structure with involvement from three ministries, namely, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Women & Child Development, and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, of Government of India. It follows the following campaign structure:
Advocacy and Communication through Media Campaign
The district administration workers or the DDAs aim to spread awareness about the scheme and its objectives through mass media campaigns such as street plays, short cultural programs, and other participatory events.
The major execution of the scheme takes place. The chief motive is to ensure the protection, survival, and education of the girl child. At the District Level, the Deputy Commissioners and the District Collectors coordinate actions of all departments that implement the BBBP scheme.
All attempts and initiatives are centered on improving the Child Sex ratio in gender-critical areas to bridge the gender disparity gap.
The whole campaign follows a top-down approach. However, the success of the campaign depends on the delegation and execution of duties across all levels of power.
Every State department has a State Task Force.
At the District Level, there is a District Task Force under the District Collector.
At the Block Level, there is a Block Task Force under the Sub-Divisional Magistrate.
These interact with the grass-root level district workers to carry the campaign message to every family in the concerned district.
The whole campaign centers around intervention from multiple sectors, while the Central Ministries, State Government, and the District Level administrators.
Role of the Ministry of Women & Child Development
Training of workers to promote the message through social campaigns.
Initiating mobilization in communities
Reward & recognition of front line workers
Registration of first trimester pregnancies in AWCs or the District Anganwadi Centres.
Collaborates with the Department of Women & Child Development and Social Welfare.
Managing the Program Management Unit or Mahila Shakti Kendras under State Resource Centers.
Role of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare or MoHFW
Awareness about Preconception measures for safeguarding women health and well-being
Implementation of Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques for better health and awareness
Encouraging Childbirth for both girls and boys equally
Implementing childbirth registration
Set-up of monitoring committees
Role of the Ministry of Human Resource Development or MoHRD
Monitoring all initiatives under the campaign related to girl child issues
Encouraging universal enrolment of the girls in schools
Monitoring early age school drop-outs in girls
Implementing girl child-friendly school standards
Enforcement of the Right to Education
Distributions of facilities like clean and safe drinking water, functional toilets, free books and stationery in rural areas, etc.
It becomes the prime responsibility of all Indian citizens to protect the dignity of the girl child. The minimum that one can do as a responsible citizen of India is to:
Celebrate and cherish the birth of girl child in the family and community
Resist the age-old mentality that girls are a financial burden
Encourage ways in homes, schools, and communities to promote equality between boys and girls.
Encourage girls to go to school and complete their education and promote retention in schools.
Respect women and girls in our family as well as society
Discourage sex determination tests that promote male births
Show opposition to the dowry system in marriages and child marriage within the family
Advocate simple weddings and support the right of women to inherit properties.
The Ministry of Women & Child Development has mentioned on its BBBP website that certain unauthorized organizations or NGOs, and even individuals are distributing fake forms in the name of the scheme. They are promising false cash incentives under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme.
Such events have been reported in UP, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Bihar, and Punjab.
It is to be re-stated and clarified that there is NO promise of any cash incentives or bank transfers under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme.
The Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme was launched as a savings scheme under the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' campaign for the girl child’s future.
The objective of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is to provide financial independence to women. It encourages parents of girl children to start investing early and save money for their daughters’ education and marriage. Key features are –
An account can be opened in any of the nationalized banks or the post office with a minimum amount of Rs. 250.
The account holder can be any girl below 10 years of age.
A family can open at the most two accounts and in the case of twins, they can have three accounts.
The Sukanya Scheme offers savings benefits in the long run as it has a maturity period of 21 years or when the girl turns 18 years.
Parents also get tax benefits under this scheme.
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