Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao

To keep a cart running smoothly, we need to first make its wheels function properly. Let’s assume the cart to be our society and the wheels are obviously it’s citizens. Furthermore, the citizens comprise of all categories of individuals living in it. For the effective functioning of a society or country, it’s necessary to restore all round development of it’s citizens. Men and Women are the two most vital component who forms the base of a society. Giving them equal opportunities and facilities, will surely work towards the betterment of society. Beti bachao, beti padhao is an initiative put forward by our prime minister to restore goodness for women.

Definition of the scheme

Women have always been treated as menial beings in our society. They are never given adequate opportunity to pursue their dreams and wishes. This has been the case since past many years. As per the India’s constitution, women are legal citizens of the country and have equal rights with men. If we look in the past, in the early vedic period women enjoyed the equal status with men in all aspects of life. As per the 2011 census in India, the sex ratio is 926 in the urban area and 947 in the rural area. (that means number of girls per 1000 boys). Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (translation: Save girl child, educate a girl child) is a social campaign of the Government of India that aims to generate awareness and improve the efficiency of welfare services intended for girls. The scheme was launched with an initial funding of ₹100 crore (US$16 million). It has been the target of fraudsters in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Bihar and Delhi.

The Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme was launched on 22 January 2015 by Modi. It aims to address the issue of the declining child sex ratio image (CSR) and 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. It initially focused multi-sector action in 100 districts throughout the country where there was a low CSR. Speaking on the occasion of International Day of the Girl Child in 2014, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi had called for the eradication of female foeticide and invited suggestions from the citizens of India via the MyGov.in portal.

Need of Beti bachao, beti padhao

  1. Firstly, female foeticide has led to a sharp drop in the ratio of girls born in contrast to that of boy infants in some states in India. Ultrasound technology or sonography has made it possible for pregnant women and their families to learn the gender of a foetus early in a pregnancy. Discrimination against girl infants, for several reasons, has combined with the technology to result in a rise in abortions of foetuses identified as female during ultrasonic testing.
  2. The dowry system in India is often blamed; the expectation that a large dowry must be provided for daughters in order to make their marriage is frequently cited as a major cause for the problem. Pressure for parents to provide large dowries for their daughters is most intense in prosperous states where high standards of living, and modern consumerism, are more prevalent in Indian society.
  3. The need to make females aware of their rights, the right to education, to life and speech. This initiative by our prime minister has set forth millions of opportunities for women to get an access to their individual freedom.

Objectives of the Beti bachao, Beti padhao scheme

The Overall Goal of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme is to celebrate the girl child and enable her education.

The objectives of the Scheme are as under:

i)To prevent gender biased sex selective elimination

ii)To ensure survival and protection of the girl child

iii)To ensure education and participation of the girl child

Implementation of the BEti bachao, Beti padho scheme

Project Implementation

The Ministry of Women and Child Development would be responsible for budgetary control and administration of the scheme from the Centre. At the State level, the Secretary, Department of Women and Child Development will be responsible for overall direction and implementation of the scheme.  The Structure of the Scheme is as follows:

At the National level

A National Task Force for Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao headed by Secretary, WCD with representation from concerned ministries namely Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of Human Resource Development, National Legal Services Authority, Department of Disability Affairs and Ministry of Information & Broadcasting; Gender Experts and Civil Society representatives. The Task Force will provide guidance and support; finalize training content; review state plans and monitor effective implementation.

At the State level

The States shall form a State Task Force (STF) with representation of concerned Departments (Health & Family Welfare; Education; Panchayati Raj/ Rural Development) including State Level Services Authority and Department of Disability Affairs for Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao to coordinate the implementation of the Scheme. As the issue requires convergence & coordination between Departments, the Task Force would be headed by the Chief Secretary. In UTs the Task Force would be headed by Administrator, UT Administration. Some States/UTs have their own mechanism at the State/UT level for Women’s Empowerment, Gender and Child related issues which may be considered and/or strengthened as State/UT Task Force. Principal Secretary, WCD/Social Welfare will be the convener of this body. Department of Women & Child Development will have the responsibility of coordinating all the activities related to implementation of the Plan in the State/UTs through the Directorate of ICDS.

At the District level

A District Task Force (DTF) led by the District Collector/Deputy Commissioner with representation of concerned departments (Health & Family Welfare; Appropriate Authority (PC&PNDT); Education; Panchayati Raj/ Rural Development, Police) including District legal Services Authority (DLSA) will be responsible for effective implementation, monitoring & supervision of the District Action Plan. Technical support and guidance for the implementation of Action Plan in the district would be provided by District Programme Officer (DPO) in the District ICDS Office for formulation of District Action Plan using the Block level Action Plans. A Gender expert/CSO member may also be included in the task force.

At the Block level

A Block level Committee would be set up under the Chairpersonship of the Sub Divisional Magistrate/Sub Divisional Officer/Block Development Officer (as may be decided by the concerned State Governments) to provide support in effective implementation, monitoring & supervision of the Block Action Plan.

At the Gram Panchayat/Ward level

The respective Panchayat Samiti/Ward Samiti (as may be decided by concerned State Governments) having jurisdiction over the concerned Gram Panchayat/Ward would be responsible for the overall coordination & supervision for effectively carrying out activities under the Plan.

At Village level

Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committees, (recognized as sub committees of panchayats) will guide and support village level implementation and monitoring of the plan. Frontline workers (AWWs, ASHAs & ANMs) will catalyze action on ground by creating awareness on the issue of CSR, collecting data, dissemination of information about schemes/programmes related to girl child & their families etc.

In identified cities/ urban areas

The plan shall be implemented under the overall guidance & leadership of Municipal Corporations.

Strategies of Beti bachao, Beti padhao scheme

Strategies employed to successfully carry out the scheme are:

  • Implement a sustained Social Mobilization and Communication Campaign to create equal value for the girl child and promote her education.
  • Place the issue of decline in CSR/SRB in public discourse, improvement of which would be an indicator for good governance.
  • Focus on Gender Critical Districts and Cities.

Short comings of Beti bachao, Beti Padhao scheme

Although it has a very essential cause and it is effective for the woman empowerment, it has failed to prove it’s strategies many times.

BBBPS is a centrally sponsored scheme that provides 100% financial assistance to state governments to encourage girl child education. Haryana has 20 districts that are in the gender critical district list. As per the guidelines, Rs 5 lakh were to be provided to each district for implementing the scheme. The diversion of funds has been noted in various districts of Haryana. For example, in Panipat out of the Rs 5 lakh received by the district, three were spent on the preparation of a “Theme Gate” at the town’s entrance to mark the launching of the scheme. The expenditure has been categorised as ‘irregular’ and is tantamount to the diversion of funds. Similarly, an expenditure of Rs 21.24 lakh was incurred in 2015 by the women and child development department from funds provided by the scheme to purchase 1,800 laptop bags and 2,900 mugs. There was no provision in the scheme for these items. In Punjab, the district programme officers deposited Rs 1 lakh (Rs 1,000 for each girl child) in the bank accounts of 100 girls covered under the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana. This was irregular as the financial benefits promised by other schemes were not supposed to be provided from the BBBPS funds. Thus, it was declared as a diversion of funds.

he lack of policy implementation, diversion of funds and the failure of monitoring mechanisms are some of the reasons for the failure of the BBBPS. To achieve the objectives of the scheme, the government must ensure stricter enforcement of the policy guidelines and improve the monitoring mechanisms it employs.