The child sex ratio has ever been declining. It has been observed that there is a preference for the male child over the female. In desire of the male child, several malpractices were done and sex selective abortion and female feticide was on a rise. The situation was alarming. In wake of this the PCPNDT (Pre-
Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques) Act was enacted by the Government of India in the year 1994 to stop female feticide and arrest the declining sex ratio in India.
According to the 2011 census report, the child sex ratio of states like Rajasthan and Punjab was found to be as low as 888 and 846 respectively. It was surprising that urban and developed areas like Chandigarh had child sex ratio as low as 880. This was a blow to the thought that the rural and the uneducated preferred the male over the female. Similar trend was found in the urban areas including the educated masses. The concept of strong son preference in India was prevalent and deeply rooted. The mindsets of the people needed to be changed.
To bring in a new dawn and to end the darkness of malpractices like female feticide, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi had called for the eradication of female feticide. The Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme was launched on 22 January 2015. It aims to generate awareness and improve the efficiency of welfare services intended for girls. It also aims to address the issue of the declining child sex ratio image (CSR) and is a national initiative jointly run by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Human Resource Development. It initially focused multi-sector action in 100 districts throughout the country where there was a low CSR.
The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme primarily constitutes of three pillars. It consists of an interplay of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Health and Family Welfare (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Strategies employed to successfully carry out the scheme are: Implementation of a sustained social mobilization and communication campaign to create equal value for the girl child and promote her education. Placing the issue of decline in child sex ratio/sex ratio at birth in public discourse, improvement of which would be an indicator for good governance.
The collaboration of these three departments have played an integral role in the success of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana’. The declining child sex ratio being a multidimensional and multi-faceted problem, it is of utmost importance that we understand that it is important for various departments and sectors to come together and join in hands to curb female feticide and improve the sex ratio by promoting education, enhancing health and making stricter laws to bring in revolutionary changes and reforms in the society.
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