In the last decade, there has been a significant rise in the sex ratio of women in India. After a tragic period of time where girl child was killed in the womb or right after birth, there has come a relief when the number of women per thousand men has gone from 923 to 931. After the launch of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign ‘Beti Padhao Beti Bachao’ in his first term, reports have stated that there have been several improvements for the girl child in the country.
In the recent budget allocations, the government has allocated Rs 348 crore since 2016-17 towards media activities for the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' scheme that aims at checking female infanticide and educating the girl child, the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry said.
Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, WCD Minister Smriti Irani gave details of the total funds allocated and released under the scheme since 2016. Out of Rs 878 crore funds allocated for the scheme since 2015, Rs 504 crore has been released and it includes funds for media activities, according to the data presented by the Union minister.
The funds allocated for media campaign from 2016-17 onwards is Rs 348 crore, it stated. "For advocacy and media campaign, a 360 degree nation-wide media plan is executed in which almost all types of media platforms, including TV, radio, cinema, community radio station, SMS, digital online/social media, print media, community engagement, are used for spreading the message of the BBBP scheme," she said in a written reply.
The goal of the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' (BBBP) scheme is to address the issue of decline in child sex ratio in critical districts through an awareness campaign as well as multi-sectoral interventions. The interventions include registration of pregnancies in the first trimester, increased institutional deliveries and prohibition of sex determination.
Smriti Irani has been vocal about women’s issues in the past, and has held significant positions in the cabinet of the Modi government.