The much touted “BetiBachao, BetiPadhao” scheme of Union Ministry of Women and Child Development has kicked off well in Punjab’s districts where sex ratio is skewed, if response by the office of the PMO is any indication.
The scheme has been launched in districts of Jalandhar, Mansa, Faridkot, Bathinda, Ludhiana, Moga, Ropar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Nawanshehar. Punjab Women and Child Development Department has been made the nodal agency in Punjab while the education and health department support the project.
The success of the project in Punjab could be gauged from the fact that the PMO in a recent post on its website on the 'BetiBachao, BetiPadhao' initiative has singled out the Punjab initiative for special praise. The initiative has received great response, and in a backward district like Mansa with skewed sex ratio, more than 70 students have already got a chance to spend one day with a professional, to see them function in a professional environment, helping them make better decisions about their future career choice.
The Mansa administration through the 'Udaan - Live your Dream for One Day' scheme is inspiring its girls to be educated, the PMO has said in the post. Mansa is a backward district with many parents not able to afford education for their daughters. In some cases, the girls were also very overawed by the idea of entering the offices of senior officers. But the feedback, the Punjab Government got was very encouraging - many girls have been able to shed their morbid fear of police and bureaucrats. Significantly, Mansa has one of the poorest sex ratio in the country at 883 females per 1000 men and 30 per cent dropout rate in schools. The literacy rate among females in Mansa is just 55 per cent against Punjab's average of 71 per cent. Over 400 young girls had lined up to shadow a police or IAS officer for a day in one of Punjab's most backward districts of Mansa, earning praise from the Prime Minister's Office under Narendra Modi's 'BetiBachao, BetiPadhao' initiative. About 400 girls studying in Class 6-8 have registered for the scheme while over 70 girls have already undergone the one-day attachment. The idea was to attach the girls with a police or IAS officer or a doctor for a day so that they can understand the job he does and get tips on how to pursue that profession.
Punjab Government has asked the respective district-level units to prepare a detailed action plan for implementation of the project. Under the detailed action plan, villages in rural areas and few pockets in urban areas where child sex ratio is the least have been chosen for the project. While health department will ensure the proper implementation of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act and registration of expected mothers in the district, the education department will ensure educational opportunities to the girl child.