Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi on Monday said female foeticide was not related to development and that more girls were being killed in developed states.
The minister, however, asserted that the NDA government’s ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme, launched in 2015, has helped to improve the child sex ratio.
“Girls are being killed, destroyed and removed only in developed states. So it has nothing to do with development or underdevelopment,” Maneka said at the two-day All India Regional Editors Conference organised by Press Information Bureau (PIB).
Highlighting that the child sex ratio (CSR) in some districts was as low as 780 girls per 1,000 boys, she said: “We chose the 100 districts with the worst CSR and implemented the scheme there. One year down the line, the programme is showing improvement.”
Maneka said the programme was tailored to the needs of each area and was closely monitored by talking to the officials. “Haryana has the worst CSR and was a tough state, but the results will show improvement,” she said.
Outlining the measures taken by her ministry to ease adoption rules, she said it would now take only four months to complete the entire adoption process. All adoption agencies, however, have been asked to compulsorily register with the Central Adoption Resource Authority.
150 sakhi centres
The women and child development ministry will increase the footprint of Sakhi-the one stop centres for women facing harassment, abuse or violence of any kind. “The initiative has been taken for women’s safety because women’s police stations are not really adequate nor is the staff sensitive,” said Maneka.
A Sakhi centre will have a psychiatrist, doctor, nurse, lawyer and police so that a woman who has faced any kind of violence can stay there and get assistance.
“Till now 10 such centres have come up. We will open 150 more this year. Eventually I hope to open 660–one in each district,” the minister said.
Women sarpanchs to be trained
The National Commission for Women will train around 2 lakh women sarpanchs, from all over the country, on how to get funds for schemes, how to do engineering so they learn how sewer lines are laid or halls are built, etc.
“Women are elected but then go back into the ghunghat (veil) and their husbands take over and run the show. We want to train the women to manage their panchayat work,” Maneka said.