As the world celebrates the International Day of the Girl Child which aims to stop the gender bias and violence against the girl child, it is very timely to look back at India’s report card. India has taken several steps and announced policies to save the girl child especially since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014. “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” is one of the schemes which has been started with the purpose of sensitizing citizens towards girls children and encouraging parents to send them to schools.
Expressing the need for gender parity, Minister for Women & Child Development, Smriti Irani has tweeted “On International Girl Child Day, let us work towards ensuring gender parity in our society & reaffirm our commitment to ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’.
In her budget speech in February Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman has praised the scheme saying “‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ has yielded tremendous results. The gross enrolment ratio of girls across all levels of education is now higher than boys. At the elementary level, it is 94.32% as against 89.28% for boys. At the Secondary level, it is 81.32% as compared to 78%, At higher secondary level girls have achieved a level of 59.70% as compared to 57.54% for boys.
The scheme which was launched in 2015 seeks to tackle the menace of female foeticide especially in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Uttarakhand, and Bihar. The key aspects of the policy have been to raise awareness through sustained communication campaigns and most importantly to zero-down on critical districts and areas and focusing on promoting the scheme in these regions.
The scheme is showing encouraging results as data released by the Haryana government, which had a high rate of female foeticide revealed that the sex ratio in the state is improving. At the end of 2019, the sex ratio at birth in Haryana increased 52 points since 2014 from 871 girls against 1,000 boys in 2014 to 923 girls for every 1,000 boys at the end of 2019.
Due to government initiatives, the overall well being of the girl child is showing tremendous results in the country.
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