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Consultative Committee of Women & Child Development Ministry meets to discuss Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme

The Consultative Committee of the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development on the subject of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) was held under the chairmanship of Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in New Delhi today. Addressing the Members, the Minister expressed concern that the Child Sex Ratio (CSR) in the country has shown a significant declining trend and the decline has been unabated since 1961. As per senses 2011 data, the number of girls for every 1000 boys between the age group of 0-6 yrs has shown an all time low of 918, she said.

The Minister said that economic factors especially dowry are one of the major reasons of the declining CSR apart from other factors like rising level of violence in the society. Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi explained that the Government has introduced the BBBP Programme to address the issue of decline in CSR through a mass media campaign across the country and focused intervention and multi-sectoral action in 100 gender critical Districts. The District Collectors/Deputy Commissioners will lead and coordinate action of all departments for BBBP at the District level. The Government has allocated Rs. 100 Crore in this year for the Scheme, she said.

Giving details of the steps taken so far, the Minister said that 3 Workshops of District Collectors have been held in Chandigarh, Guwahati and Delhi till now. The States of Haryana and Punjab have already given their action plan to tackle the declining CSR on a war footing. She suggested that woman MPs should create environment for empowerment of women especially women Sarpanches in their constituencies.

The Members suggested that since dowry is one of the major reasons, Anti-Dowry Act should be made more stringent. They also suggested emphasis on the education of the girls for their empowerment and making Zila Panchayats, the focal point in implementing and monitoring BBBP. Preventing child marriage through compulsory registration of marriages, celebrating the birth of the girl child and economic incentives as a motivation were also suggested by the Members.

This was the second meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Women & Child Development after the new Government took charge.

NB/PS

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