The Minister of Women and Child Development Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi formally launched the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme of the Government for additional 61 districts in 11 States/ UTs with low CSR. The scheme was launched at a high level conference attended by State Principal Secretaries of Departments of WCD/Social Welfare, Education and Health; Deputy Commissioners/Collectors and District Magistrates from the new 61 BBBP Districts in New Delhi . BBBP is already operational in select 100 districts of the country with low child sex ratio.
Addressing the participants, Smt. Maneka Gandhi said that BBBP was launched by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on 22nd January, 2015 and the program has proved very successful. The credit for the good performance goes to the Deputy Commissioners/Collectors and District Magistrates who have implemented it with enthusiasm by introducing several innovative actions, the Minister added. It is as a result of all these efforts that an increasing trend in Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) is visible in 49% of the BBBP districts in the first year of the scheme itself, Smt Maneka Gandhi said.
The WCD Minister highlighted the commendable initiatives taken by the States of Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, Jalgaon district of Maharashtra, Gomati in Tripura among others for their commitment to the cause of empowerment of the girl child. Introducing BBBP to the new districts, Smt Maneka Gandhi said that the goal is to improve SRB by a minimum of ten points per year and gradually bring it at par within five years. Some of the deliverables of the scheme include reducing school dropout rate for girls, 100% institutional deliveries, Gudda-Guddi Boards in every village, safety and security for girls/women, close monitoring of PC&PNDT Act, toilet facility for girls in school among others, the Minister explained.
Secretary, WCD, Shri V. Somasundaran highlighted the need for mobilization of the community to make BBBP a collective effort in order to sustain the programme over a long term basis. He explained that a community outreach is being institutionalized through 303 Village Convergence and Facilitation Service (VCFS) centers across the country, to facilitate convergence on women’s issues and benefits available to them. He also highlighted the need for frequent monitoring and scrutiny of Sex Ratio at Birth to keep the scheme on track.
The Deputy Commissioners/Collectors and District Magistrates from select districts of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir shared their journey of successful implementation of the scheme on-ground and the various innovative interventions, they have undertaken like celebration of birth of girl child, display of birth statistics through digital Guddi Gudda boards, oath taking ceremonies, linking of birth of girl child with Sukanya Samriddhi accounts, plantation drives through involvement of urban local bodies, sealing of unregistered ultrasonography machines etc.
Experience sharing in working sessions provided meaningful inputs especially for the new 61 districts where multi-sectoral interventions are being extended.
Earlier, the Minister visited the ‘walk through exhibition gallery’ at the venue, showcasing the journey of the scheme. A booklet titled “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao- A Journey So Far” was also released by Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi on the occasion. This booklet contains innovative local interventions undertaken in the past year in various districts.
Representatives of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Human Resource Development as well as UN bodies and CSO agencies also attended the conference.