Eight months after BJP-led government was sworn to power, Modi government launched Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP), its flagship schemes for women empowerment. It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Panipat, Haryana, a state infamous for its poor sex ratio and a staggering number of cases of crime against women. The inauguration ceremony took place in the presence of Women and Child development minister Maneka Gandhi and Bollywood actor Madhuri Dixit. Since then, BBBP has been this government’s most talked-about initiative with ministers and party promoting it on all possible platforms.
But four months after its inception, a recent government data has revealed that more than 50 per cent of BBBP funds were used for publicity. According to the data tabled in the Lok Sabha by Minister of State for Women and Child Development Virendra Kumar, the Centre has spent a total of Rs 364 crore in media-related activities in the last four years out of the total Rs 644 crore.
The government spent Rs 18.91 crore in 2014-15, Rs 24.54 crore in 2015-16, Rs 29.79 crore in 2016-17 and Rs 135.71 crore in 2017-18. Interestingly, in 2018-19 (till December 31, 2018), the government spent Rs 155.71 crore, the highest till date, reports PTI.
Earlier this month, a Comptroller and Auditor General report revealed that there were several irregularities in the implementation of Gender Budgeting, including non-implementation of schemes which are aimed at women empowerment.
In February 2017, the Comptroller and Auditor General pulled up the Haryana government for “diversion of funds” and non-achievement of 100 per cent re-enrolment of dropout girls under the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme. In Panipat, Haryana the sex ratio was 892 against the target of 902 but, it dropped further to 881. It also has slammed the Haryana Government for “failing” to implement the scheme meant to provide shelter, food, clothing to young widows and destitute women in the State, reports PTI.
What is BBBP?
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Human Resource Development. The three main objectives of this initiative are prevention of gender-biased sex-selective elimination, ensuring survival & protection of the girl child and ensuring education and participation of the girl child.
The key elements of the scheme include nation-wide awareness and advocacy campaign and multi- sectoral action. Multi-sectoral action includes effective enforcement of Pre Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC&PNDT) Act, Pre-Natal/ Post Natal care of mother, improve enrolment of girls in schools, community engagement/ training/ awareness generation etc.
Since 2018-19, all 640 districts (as per census 2011) of the country have been covered under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme. Out of 640 districts, 405 districts are covered through Multi -sectoral intervention, Media & Advocacy and 235 districts covered through alert Media & Advocacy outreach.
(With inputs from PTI)