Punjab has been termed as the “worst performing state” in terms of child sex-ratio. Not just that, it has also failed miserably in the effective implementation of the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” scheme, meant to elevate the status of the girl child by providing families with appropriate incentives.
According to a report by HT, a lot of reasons like delayed release of funds, poor utilization, non-compliance and lack of proper monitoring are responsible for the scheme’s failure. “Out of ₹6.36 crore released by the central government to the state government during 2014-2016, only ₹91 lakh were utilised up to March 2016,” reveals the CAG report. Apart from not using the funds properly, the state government has come a cropper by not initiating the scheme in 9 districts.
The report also highlights names of six districts where SRB (sex ratio at birth) is abysmally low. These districts are Barnala, Ferozepur, Gurdaspur, Sangrur, Mohali and Muktsar.
Lack of coordination among departments to give direction to the scheme was also noted as a major reason preventing effective implementation of the ‘Beti Bachao’ scheme
The central government launched the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme in 2015 with the objective of enhancing the lives of girls by investing in their overall development, including education and health. The scheme was implemented in 100 districts and these were put under direct supervision of the central government.
While the state of Punjab seems to falter by delaying justice to its daughters, Rajasthan is showing remarkable improvement in its child sex-ratio. The ratio of girls to boys at birth has reportedly increased from 888 in 2011 to 925 in 2015.
This progress in ensuring girls’ welfare has been achieved by substantial efforts made by the Rajasthan government. A signed message from chief minister Vasundhara Raje for parents of newborn girls, a monetary grant for every girl child at various stages, a first-of-its kind informer scheme to reward those who tip off the government on sex-selection activities and GPS-fitted sonography machines are all concrete measures taken in the direction of empowering the girl child. Even Haryana has been showing an upward trend with the number of girls crossing the 900 mark.
Punjab must take a leaf from its neighbouring states and strive to improve its child sex ratio as that is only way forward.
Charvi Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV