Beti Bachao Beti Padao

Background: The current Census (2011) data has revealed a declining trend in Child Sex
Ratio  (CSR)  between  0-6  years  with  an  all  time  low  of  919.   India  has  recorded
considerable economic growth in the last decades. However, this could not be translated
into improved  gender indicators especially  related to Sex Ratio and CSR. The issue of
declining CSR is a major indicator of women disempowerment as it begins before birth,
manifests in gender biased sex selection & elimination and continues in various forms of
discrimination  towards  girl  child  after  birth  in  fulfilling  her  health,  nutrition  and
educational needs. The practice of sex selective elimination of the female foetus due to
easy  availability  and  affordability  of  medical  diagnostic  tools  has  been  a  critical
influencer of the skewed sex ratio. Further, there is little doubt that strong socio-cultural
and  religious  biases,  preferences  for  sons  in  almost  all  Indian  communities  has  also
shaped societal attitudes towards girls.
Given  the  complexity  of  the  issue,  there  is  a  need  for  coordinated  and  multi  sectoral
convergent  action  including  Information  Education  and  Communication  (IEC)  &
Behaviour  Change  Communication  (BCC)  Campaigns  and  community  mobilization
initiatives towards improving CSR, promoting the value of the  girl child and highlighting
the  importance  of  empowering  her  with  education.  A  campaign  like  the  Beti  Bachao,
Beti  Padhao  can  not  only  draw  the  attention  of  the  masses  to  a  grave  concern  like declining  CSR  but  also  lead  to  change  of  mindsets  towards  empowering  daughters through education.  The outcome of this Campaign is envisaged to  ensure  girls are born, loved  and  nurtured  without  discrimination,  educated  and  raised  to  become  empowered citizens of this country with equal rights.

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