India has a known affinity towards male child since ages; however since few years there is an alarming decline in girl child ratio. The decline from 945 in 1991 to 927 in 2001 and further to 918 in 2011 has upset the social activists.
In wake of this alarming situation, during January last year, Prime Minister Modi’s government launched the twin scheme of “Beti Bachao Beti Padao” campaign (Save Daughter, Educate Daughter) and “Sukanya Samridhi account” (girl child prosperity scheme) to encourage birth and education of girls from Panipat in Haryana. Importantly, Panipat is among the cities that has lowest sex ratio of 837 girls to 1000 boys.
Last year, during January the launch of the campaign was done amidst much fan fare and in the presence of dignitaries including the popular actor Madhuri Dixit. The initiative completes its first year of launch on 22nd January, 2016.
The ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padao’ campaign is being implemented through national campaign to increase awareness on celebrating the Girl Child & enabling her education and focused mainly 100 selected districts low in CSR throughout country. The campaign is aimed at ensuring girls are born, nurtured and educated without discrimination to become empowered citizens of this country with equal rights.
Indian PM has condemned the killing of the girl child in the womb “female foeticide”, terming it as mental illness. He has pleaded the nation to save girl child, the speech was met with a huge applause where he said that we cannot be in 21st century if we keep killing our girls. The Indian PM said, "We cannot call ourselves citizens of 21st century by practicing such a crime and we by our mindsets belong to 18th century when daughters were killed soon after they were born". Expressing his emotions on the issue, the Indian PM has said that by persisting with such a discrimination against girl child, the nation would not only harm itself but also generations to come, and requiring a lot of commitment and perhaps several years before such imbalance in sex ratio can be ended.
Sukanya Smridhi account, enables girl child below 10 years to have an account with more interest and income tax benefits.
A reward of Rs 1 crore is also announced to be provided for the "innovative" village which attains a balanced sex ratio.
A YouTube channel on BBBP has been launched for all to access relevant videos on the issue of declining child sex ratio. Videos are being uploaded continuously and shared through this platform for generating awareness and for easy access and dissemination.
The campaign is initially implemented in the 100 districts, including 12 in Haryana, and across the country where the sex ratio is rather poor.
Since January last year, when it was first launched in Panipat, in one year people have actively appreciated the initiative in creating awareness about the same. Recently, approximately 1,000 young girls living in slums and jhuggi clusters in East Delhi have been admitted to EDMC schools and would be provided free education under the mission.