Extension of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme

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    • According to the recent guidelines issued by the Women and Child Development Ministry Beti Bachao Beti Padhao will now be extended across the country. 

    About Beti Bachao Beti Padhao

    • It is a flagship scheme of the Government of India, launched by the Prime Minister in 2015 in Haryana to arrest the declining Child Sex Ratio and related issues of empowerment of Women over a lifecycle continuum. 
    • It’s a convergent initiative of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health and Family Welfare and Human Resource Development.
    • It is implemented by states with 100% central assistance. 
    • Under, BBBP scheme there is no provision of direct benefit transfer.
    • Current coverage: The programme is operational in 405 districts at present.

    Objectives of the scheme

    • The Overall Goal of the BBBP Scheme is to celebrate the Girl Child & Enable her Education.
    • Other objectives are as under:-
      • Prevent gender-biased sex selective elimination
      • Ensure survival & protection of the girl child
      • Ensure education of the girl child

    Components of the scheme

    • It has two major components
      • It aims at ensuring girls are born, nurtured and educated without discrimination to become empowered citizens of this country. 
      • The Campaign interlinks National, State and District level interventions with community-level action in 100 districts, bringing together different stakeholders for accelerated impact.

    New Comprehensive guidelines

    • It will aim for zero-budget advertising and encouraging greater spend on activities that have on-ground impact for promoting sports among girls, self-defence camps, construction of girls’ toilets, making available sanitary napkin vending machines and sanitary pads, especially in educational institutions, awareness about PC-PNDT Act, etc.
    • Improved targets
      • The ministry has now targeted improvement in the Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) by 2 points every year.
      • Improvement in the percentage of institutional deliveries at 95% or above
      • 1% increase in 1st Trimester ANC Registration per year
      • 1 per cent increase in enrolment at secondary education level and skilling of girls and women per year
      • To check dropout rate among girls at secondary and higher secondary levels and raise awareness about safe menstrual hygiene management.
    • Khelo India: The scheme will also look at increasing girls’ participation in sports by identifying talent and linking them with appropriate authorities under Khelo India.
    • One-Stop Centres (OSCs): It also plans to strengthen One-Stop Centres (OSCs) set up to help women facing violence, including domestic violence and trafficking, by adding 300 OSCs in districts which either have a high rate of crimes against women or are geographically large, preferably in aspirational districts.
      • The OSCs will be the mainstay of the ministry at the district level for coordination and convergence with other initiatives under Nirbhaya Fund.
    • The toll-free: 24-hour women’s helpline, 181, will be merged with the Emergency Response Support System, and other platforms such as 1098 child line and NALSA, will also be connected to OSCs.
      • The helpline can also be accessed through text or other forms of messages for those unable to speak due to situational or physical challenges.
    • Nari Adalat: for providing women with an alternate grievance redress mechanism to resolve cases of petty nature at gram panchayat-level, which will be implemented in a phased manner.
    • Anti-Trafficking Units: Half-Way Homes to be set up under Anti-Trafficking Units, where a group of victims, ready for reintegration, can live and work out of.

    Issues/ Challenges

    • Nearly 80 percent of funds for the BBBP scheme has been used for advertising, and not on sectoral interventions such as women’s health and education.
    • Under-utilisation of funds: The scheme’s performance in states has not been up to the mark and there is issue of under-utilisation of funds.
    • The lack of policy implementation, diversion of funds and the failure of monitoring mechanisms 
    • Infrequent task force meetings
    • Non-compliance to guidelines

    Way Forward

    • Increase planned expenditure allocation for education and health related interventions.
    • District level task forces should be headed by local female frontline workers.
    • Ensure that on-ground implementation personnel are adequately trained in community outreach activities.
    • Necessitate greater use of mobile technology for monitoring and documentation.

    Source:IE