Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, a key scheme announced by his government to address the dipping child sex ratio and empower India’s girl child, from Haryana’s Panipat district on January 22.
Modi’s decision to choose Haryana is significant as at 832 girls per 1,000 boys (Census 2011), the state has one of the lowest child sex ratio in the country.
“Haryana was chosen intentionally as it has a poor track record as far as protecting the girl child is concerned. Launching the scheme from here would put the spotlight on the state to take urgent measures to address the dipping sex ratio,” said a government official.
The overall child sex ratio (CSR) of India is also one of the worst in the world. From 927 girls per 1,000 boys in 2001, it dipped to 919 girls per 1,000 boys in 2011, the lowest since 1961.
The scheme, piloted by the women & child development (WCD) ministry, will initially be launched in 100 districts across India which have the worst CSR.
An allocation of `100 crore has been made for the scheme which proposes a slew of measures such as providing incentives to pregnant mothers to register during the first trimester to giving rewards to informers to help identify unregistered clinics indulging in illegal sex selection tests.
“Advocacy would be a key component. The idea is to use incentives and disincentives; right from the time a girl child is born to her education and marriage, to protect her,” said the official.