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Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao

Introduction
In 2015, the Indian government introduced the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme to address concerns of gender discrimination and women empowerment in the country. The name Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao translates to ‘Save the girl child, educate the girl child’. The scheme aims to educate citizens against gender bias and improve efficacy of welfare services for girls. It was launched with an initial funding of Rs. 100 crore (US$ 13.5 million).

Need for Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana
The scheme was launched after the national census results for 2011 revealed detraction in key gender metrics – Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB). CSR is defined as the number of girls per 1,000 boys aged 0-6 years. This ratio has showcased a steady decline, from 945 in 1999 to 927 in 2001. This declined further to 918 girls for every 1,000 boys in 2011. Detailed evaluation of the decline showed that SRB was the principal factor. Dip in these ratios is a significant indicator of gender discrimination and women disempowerment, reflecting both pre-birth discrimination through gender-biased, sex selective abortion and post-birth discrimination by neglecting health, nutrition, and educational needs of the girl child. Research concluded that the strong socio-cultural and religious preference for boys was the root cause of the problem and this provided impetus for launch of the BBBP initiative.

Objectives
The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana aims to achieve the following goals:

  • Improve the child sex ratio
  • Ensure gender equality and women empowerment
  • Prevent gender-biased, sex selective elimination
  • Ensure survival and protection of the girl child
  • Encourage education and participation of the girl child

Overall, these can be classified into two key categories – quantitative and qualitative. The quantitative objective is to address decline in child sex ratio in the country and the qualitative objective is to inculcate awareness and change negative mindsets regarding female children.

Governing Bodies
The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana is a national initiative run jointly by the Ministry of Women & Child Development (MoWCD), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW) and Ministry of Human Resources Development (MoHRD). Each body is accountable for different aspects of the scheme. Budgetary control and administration of the BBBP falls under the MoWCD’s purview. However, capacity building and quality control are responsibilities of the MoH&FW. And community engagement programmes have been allocated under the MoHRD. The distribution of roles & responsibilities is outlined below:

Ministry

Roles & Responsibilities

Ministry of Women

and Child

Development

(MoWCD)

  • Provide overall guidance and support to states, union territories, districts and other stakeholders in implementing the BBBP scheme
  • Oversee administration of the scheme
  • Collate best practises and initiatives on creating value of the girl child
  • Set up programmes for training, sensitisation & orientation of officials, functionaries and stakeholders
  • Undertake national advocacy and media outreach campaigns
  • Develop an online management information system (MIS) for reporting and monitoring

Ministry of Health

& Family Welfare

(MoH&FW)

  • Ensure regular meetings of the Central Supervisory Board (CSB)
  • Organise two national-level meetings per year to review implementation of the Pre-conception & Prenatal Diagnostic Technique (PC & PNDT) Act
  • Organise five regional review meetings per year to gauge progress
  • Set up bi-monthly visits for the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee, i.e., 24 visits in a year
  • Schedule orientation programmes for relevant state authorities and state nodal officers on new amendments to the PC & PNDT rules
  •  
  • Hold capacity building workshops for relevant state authorities, state nodal officers and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) members

Ministry of Human Resource Development (MoHRD)- Department of School Education and Literacy

  • Activate school management committees (SMCs) to ensure universal enrolment, retention and completion of secondary education of girls
  • Generate community discussions to encourage participation of girls through Balika Manch
  • Construct functional toilets for girls
  • Complete the Kasturba Gandhi Bal Vidyalayas project
  • Roll out campaign to re-enroll girls who discontinued education at secondary levels
  • Build girls’ hostels for secondary and senior secondary schools
  • Sensitise teachers on child sex ratio through Samagra Shiksha
  • Institutionalise the standard guidelines and protocols for girl child friendly schools including residential schools and ensure effective implementation
  • Introduce district-level awards for felicitating girl achievers and special financial incentives for meritorious girls

 

Scheme Details
The scheme is divided into three components – (1) advocacy campaigns were launched to address the issue of declining CSR and SBR; (2) multi-sectoral interventions were planned and are being implemented in gender-critical districts across the country; and (3) a financial incentive-linked scheme—Sukanya Samriddhi scheme—was launched to encourage parents to build a fund for female children.

Advocacy and Media Campaign

National awareness campaigns form the foundation of the BBBP scheme. It involves a multifaceted media approach to educate parents and destigmatise the birth of female children. The advocacy campaigns focus on disseminating information regarding the declining CSR and SRB ratios to ensure that girls are born, nurtured, and educated without discrimination. The goal is to develop a culture of raising empowered women in the country.

Intervention in gender-critical districts

Programmes and interventions designed to incentivise improvements in the CSR and SRB ratios are being implemented in the shortlisted gender-critical districts. The scheme outlines measurable outcomes and indicators to monitor progress in these 640 districts. The performance targets are as follows:

  • Improve SRB in select gender-critical districts by 2 points per year
  • Reduce gender differentials in the under-five child mortality rate metric by 1.5 points per year
  • Provide functional toilets for girls in every school in select districts
  • Increase first trimester antenatal care registration by 1% per year
  • Improve nutritional status by reducing the number of underweight and anaemic girls (under five years of age)

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Scheme (SSY)

SSY is a small deposit-saving scheme targeted at parents of girl children. The scheme provides parents with income tax rebate benefits and an attractive interest rate of 7.6% on the deposits. It offers parents the option to open a savings account per girl child (under the age of 10 years) and allows parents to make deposits in the account for a period of 15 years. The girls can commence account operations at the age of 10 years and have the option of making withdrawals at the age of 18. The goal of this scheme is to challenge the burden mindset of parents and offer financial security to female children.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme Benefits

Key beneficiaries under the BBBP initiative are as follows:

Categories

Description

Primary Segment

  • Young and newly married couples; pregnant and lactating mothers; and parents

Secondary Segment

  • Youth, adolescents (girls and boys), in-laws, medical doctors/ practitioners, private hospitals, nursing homes and diagnostic centres

Tertiary Segment

  • Officials, PRIs, frontline workers, women SHGs/collectives, religious leaders, voluntary organisations, media, medical associations, industry associations and the people at large

 

Progress

Budget Allocation & Highlights

To date, the government has allocated Rs. 644 crore (US$ 87 million) for the BBBP scheme. The budget spends on awareness campaigns were recorded at Rs. 364.6 crore (US$ 49 million), i.e., 56.3% of this amount. Funds released to states, union territories and districts for intervention programmes took 24.5% share at Rs. 159.2 crore (US$ 22 million). The remaining 19.2% worth Rs. 124 crore (US$ 17 million) is currently unutilised.

As per data released by the government, the annual breakdown of fund utilisation is as follows:

Financial Year

Total Funds Allocated to BBBP (Rs. crore)

Funds Allocated for Interventions (Rs. crore)

Funds Allocated for Awareness Campaigns (Rs. crore)

2014-15

50

13.4

18.9

2015-16

75

39.1

24.5

2016-17

43

2.9

29.8

2017-18

200

33.2

135.7

2018-19*

280

70.6

155.7

* As of December 31, 2018

Key developments:

  • The National SRB Index has shown an upward trend from 918 (2014-15) to 934 (2019-20), an improvement of 16 points in five years.
  • 422 districts out of the 640 districts covered under BBBP have shown improvement in SRB from 2014-15 to 2018-19.
  • The National Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of girls in secondary schools improved from 77.45 (2014-15) to 81.32 (2018-19)—3.87 points in four years.
  • Proportion of schools with separate, functional toilets for girls rose from 92.1% in 2014-15 to 95.1% in 2018-19.
  • 1st trimester ANC registration rate increased from 61% in 2014-15 to 71% in 2019-20.
  • Institutional deliveries rate soared from 87% in 2014-15 to 94% in 2019-20.

Under this scheme, several initiatives have been undertaken by districts to build consciousness among target groups and other stakeholders.

Initiatives

Description

Digital Guddi-Gudda Board

A digital platform for exhibiting gender disparity in birth rates and providing information on schemes and programmes created for safeguarding the girl child

Udaan - Sapne Di Duniya De Rubaru

Initiative offering girls an opportunity to shadow professionals in fields of their choice

My Aim My Target Campaign

Recognition programme to felicitate top academic performances by girls in higher secondary schools

Lakshya Se Rubaru

Internship programme for female students in colleges – for encouraging them to make informed decisions about their careers

Noor Jeevan Ka Betiyan

A week-long campaign celebrated with gender empowerment theme-based interactive activities organised in Panchayats, schools, and colleges

Bitiya and Birba

Awareness campaign on the BBBP initiative, along with environmental protection. Under this, each mother of a newly born girl child is celebrated and honored with a plant

Aao School Chalein

Enrolment campaign involving door-to-door visits and registrations to ensure 100% enrolment of girls in schools

Collector Ki Class

Initiative offering free coaching classes and career counselling for underprivileged girls in public schools and colleges

Bal Cabinet

Youth leadership programme where girl students simulate government cabinets and ministerial roles to discuss and resolve issues

The Road Ahead…
In the first five years of implementation, the BBBP scheme has been successful in improving key performance metrics outlined in its target objectives. To further boost success of the programme, the government plans to carry out a detailed district-level survey to evaluate progress and detect hurdles to implementation. The survey will be conducted by an independent agency in collaboration with Niti Aayog. The primary goal of this survey is to find ways to strengthen execution of the scheme in low-performing states.