Beti Bachao Beti Padhao

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao – meaning ‘Save the Girl Child, Educate the Girl Child’, is an initiative taken by the Government of India to protect, nurture, and empower the girl child for long-term purposes. It means: It has now been transformed into a national campaign and is encouraged to run across all states and union territories of India. It is also known as the BBBP scheme.

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The Nature of the Scheme

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao was launched by our Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi as one of the flagship programs of the Government. The scheme addresses the decreasing child sex ratio and related issues of women empowerment on a long-term basis.

It focuses on challenging mindsets and the deep-rooted patriarchal system of social order prevalent in our country. It lays emphasis on empowering the girl child and advancing their education. Overall, the scheme works for women’s empowerment in the early life stages of the girl child to equip her with health, wealth, education, and experience to take charge of her future when he grows up. The main objective of the scheme is the upliftment of the girl child across both rural and urban domains and providing a financial impetus to their welfare through a small savings scheme.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Women & Child Development, and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, of the Government of India. The scheme is now launched in full force in 100 gender-critical districts of India.

Objectives of the Scheme

The major objective of the scheme is women’s empowerment at the grass-root level. The scheme has been launched on the core belief that an empowered girl child can only be an empowered mother and a responsible citizen of India. The dignity of our daughters has to be preserved to uplift the family, society, and then the nation as a whole.  

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

Launch of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao or the BBP Scheme

From the statistics available from the Census, 2011, there has been observed a considerable downward trend in Child Sex Ratio (CSR). In the age group of 0-6 years, 918 girls were reported per 1000 boys. This has registered a steep decline over the years. In 1961, as per Census reports, there were 976 girls per 1000 boys. In 2001, this Child Sex Ratio was reduced to 927 girls per 1000 boys. The next 10 years, i.e. in 2011, witnessed further decline with 918 girls only per 1000 boys.

This was taken up as a matter of grave concern by the Government of India as the declining number of female children indicated the low status of women in society. 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 or about 66% of the samples recorded. Also, there were 244 districts in India that registered a CSR below the national average of 918.

The numbers reflected the sad scenario of Indian society. The Government decided to initiate welfare measures to not only bring awareness among the Indian masses but also encourage and celebrate the girl child in India.

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 in an additional 61 districts in India.

In March 2018, the Hon’ble Prime Minister officially announced the expansion of the BBBP Scheme to cover all 640 districts that were highlighted on the low CSR graph as per Census 2011. The prime Minister’s decision came off at Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan.

It was initiated through a multi-sectoral campaign. This was brought to the forefront by intervention and advocacy at the district level in each state in India. The intention was to cover 405 listed Districts. The remaining 235 Districts were later covered under the scheme under media outreach and advocacy.

  1. Target Group of the Scheme

    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.
  2. The Administration of the Scheme

    As of now, the Scheme administration is through DDAs or the District Appropriate Authority. The Government directly transferred the funds to the concerned districts.

    The latest development on the national scene was a BBBP National Conference organized on May 4, 2018. This was organized in the newly selected 244 districts for various multi-sectoral activities for orientation and popularization of the Scheme. The aim of this conference was to make sure that the scheme was properly implemented in these districts to bridge the gap between gender disparities.

    Moving one step ahead with the masses with the digital media available, a Video Conference was also organized at the district level in this regard.

  3. The Key Components of the Scheme

    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
    • Multi-Sectoral Interventions

    Under the first category, 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.

    For example, a village in Rajasthan, India, Piplantri, has come up with an innovative measure to celebrate the birth of a girl child.  The villagers plant 111 trees every time a girl child is born. The community members look after the trees with utmost care as a sign of the girls growing up.

    The villagers also have a plan for providing financial security to the family that has a girl child. When a girl is born, they contribute Rs. 21,000. They also take Rs. 10,000 from the girl’s family and put the total amount in a Fixed Deposit account for 20 years till the girl attains maturity. They make sure that the parents of the girl tend to her proper care and education and do not marry her off early. Towards this effect, they make the parents of the girl sign an affidavit.

    Under the second category, the major execution of the scheme takes place. These efforts are taken in collaboration and coordination with the District administrators. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, and Ministry of Human Resource Development. 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.

  4. The Organizational Structure of the Scheme

    The organizational structure of the scheme is as follows:

    • The whole campaign follows a top-down approach.
    • The success of the campaign is based on the delegation and execution of duties across all levels of power.
    • The Ministry of Women & Child Development promotes registration of first trimester pregnancies in AWCs or the District Anganwadi Centres.
    • It collaborates with the Department of Women & Child Development and Social Welfare.
    • They have a Program Management Unit or Mahila Shakti Kendras under State Resource Centers.
    • 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.
  5. Functions and Planning Under The BBBP Scheme

    The whole campaign centers around intervention from multiple sectors, while the Central Ministries, State Government, and the District Level administrators.

    Ministry of Women & Child Development

    • They undertake the training of workers to promote the scheme message through social campaigns.
    • Initiating mobilization in communities
    • Training of front line workers as the primary task force
    • Reward & recognition of these mission front line workers

    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

    Ministry of Human Resource Development or MoHRD

    • Monitor all initiatives under the campaign related to girl child issues
    • Awareness about universal enrolment of the girls
    • Encouraging girl education and 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.
  6. Multi-Sectoral Action Under the Scheme

    • Under the BBBP Scheme, there is an impetus on intervening and performing sectorial actions in the select 405 districts covering all States and the Union Territories of India in consultation with M/o H&FW & M/o HRD.
    • All attempts and initiatives are centered on improving the Child Sex ratio in these areas to bridge the gender disparity gap.

    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. That is why they have a strong social media presence as well with the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ YouTube channel and the related government website with all the details and updates about the scheme.

  7. Targets Under The BBBP Scheme Can Be Monitored

    The Government aims to bring together the Centre, State, and the Districts on one platform for the operations of this welfare scheme. They focus on measurable outcomes to achieve the goals established by the whole campaign.

    The main objective here is to improve the CSR in the districts under monitoring by various online as well offline means of spreading awareness, social work, and welfare and cooperation activities.

  8. What Can We All Do as Citizens?

    It becomes the prime responsibility of all Indian citizens to protect the dignity of the girl child. Daughters are the key to a happy, healthy, and educated society that can lead to the development of a strong nation. One cannot leave everything to the Government and let the initiatives at the root level go waste. As individuals, everyone has a role to play.

    The minimum that one as a responsible citizen of India can do is to:

    • Celebrate and cherish the birth of girl child in the family and community
    • Resist the age-old mentality in our families of the girls as a financial burden
    • Take pride in daughters
    • 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. This especially applies to the girls in rural areas.
    • Make attempts to challenge gender roles and stereotypes  
    • 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 Government of India has formed a National Executive Committee to promote Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) all over the country. The committee organizes several programs to promote the "Save Girl Child" and "to Educate Girl Child" message in schools, hospitals, community centers, and block divisions, since January 2015.

  9. Fake Schemes being floated in the name of BBBP Scheme

    Even though the scheme has started on a good note, some spurious sections of society have tried to take advantage of the scheme. 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 Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme.

    This matter has been reported to the Central Government that fraudulent measures related to the scheme have been reported in UP, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Bihar, and even 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. It is not a type of benefit transfer scheme. The main aim of the scheme is to focus on changing the patriarchal mindset of the Indian society and help them embrace the girl child without bias.  Once again, the scheme focuses on the enforcement of the PCPNDT Act strictly.  It also advances girl child education and empowerment.

Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme under BBBP

A beneficial step under this direction was the subsequent launch of the Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme by the Union Government. This savings scheme is specially designed for the girl child’s welfare. It was launched by Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, in January 2015 under the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' campaign.

The objective of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is to provide financial independence for women. It encourages parents of girl children to start investing early and save money for their daughters’ education and marriage. This scheme has a simple and beneficial structure.

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 long maturity period of 21 years or when the girl turns 18 years. It also allows tax benefits under this scheme.

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