Beti Bachao Beti Padhao : A Jan Andolan
The Census (2011) data showed a significant declining trend in the Child Sex Ratio1 (CSR) between 0-6 years with an all time low of 918. The issue of decline in the CSR is a major indicator of women disempowerment as it reflects both, pre-birth discrimination manifested through gender biased sex selection, and post birth discrimination against girls (in form of their health, nutrition, educational needs). Coordinated and convergent efforts are needed to ensure survival, protection and education of the girl child. In this background, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 22nd January, 2015 in Panipat, Haryana to address the issue of decline in CSR and related issues of empowerment of girls and women over a life cycle continuum.
The scheme was initially launched in 100 districts in 2014-15, and was expanded to 61 additional districts in 2015-16. Following initial success of the scheme, the initiative has been expanded to all 640 districts of the Country (as per Census 2011) through a nation-wide mass media campaign, and focussed intervention and multi-sectoral action in selected 405 districts. The Advocacy and Media Campaign is implemented by the Central Government adopting a 360° approach using various platforms. Multi Sectoral intervention is done at the district level and funds are released directly to the districts to implement various activities under the BBBP @ Rs. 50 lakh per district per annum.
As reported by the district implementing agencies, during the F.Y. 2018-2019, 1803 convergence meetings were held with the line departments and various stakeholders, 2212 Media/Awareness campaigns were conducted for spreading awareness; 1308 training programme at District level with various stakeholders were organized and 1,42,638 participants were oriented and sensitized; 23,622 training programmes for front line workers viz. ASHA, Anganwadi workers were also organised to build the capacities of 3,81,336 workers; 2,76,037 awareness activities organised through various mode such as Nukkad Natak, puppet shows, magic shows, street plays, community meetings etc.
As a result, scheme has stirred up collective consciousness towards changing the mind-set of the public to acknowledge the rights of the girl child. The scheme has resulted in increased awareness and sensitization of the masses. It has raised concerns around the issue of declining CSR in India. The collective consciousness of the people supporting the campaign BBBP has found its place in public discourse.
As per the Health Management Information System (HMIS), data of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, promising trends of improvement in Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) have been noted. As per the report Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) at National level has improved from 918 (2014-15) to 931 (2018-19). Out of 640 districts (as per census 2011), 395 districts have shown improvement in SRB from 2014-15 to 2018-2019. However, the actual status can be confirmed through the upcoming census. The Percentage of 1st trimester ANC registration to Total ANC registration has increased from 61 in (2014-2015) to 68 in (2018-19). The enrolment of girls in the schools upto secondary has also increased from 77.45 percent in (2014-15) to 80.51 percent in (2017-18* provisional figures as per UDISE-data, MoHRD).