Girl child’s fate lingers in Centre vs Delhi battle

Lack of clarity on the NDA government’s flagship scheme Beti Bachao Beti Padhao to save the girl child have led to a battle between the Centre and the Delhi government.

Published: 22nd July 2017 10:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2017 11:09 AM   |  A+A-

Girls during a Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao rally

NEW DELHI: The Central and the Delhi government have locked horns over implementing the NDA government’s flagship scheme Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) to save the girl child. In the absence
of clarity of the implementing authority on the part of the Delhi government, the project—initiated in 2015—has not taken off in the national capital to address declining child sex ratio.

Confirming the delay in the scheme’s implementation, officials said laxity by Delhi government agencies—including its Department of Women and Child Development, Department of Health and even Delhi Police, which is not under the Delhi government—has hit the progress of the project. The Delhi government claims the Central government hasn’t allocated allocating the budget for the scheme.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development claims the Delhi government is not enforcing the scheme despite the Union Territory having the fourth worst sex ratio in the country. The sex ratio in Delhi is an abysmal 871 females per 1,000 males. BBBP aims to address the declining child sex ratio in India, and was launched in 100 critical districts with the lowest child sex ratio in 2015.

“Several meetings have been held at ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) level. We had asked Delhi government to sort out the issues, but nothing has moved in the last two years,” said an official in the ministry. West Bengal is the other state which is not implementing the scheme.
“Even Lakshadweep had some issues, but they have started implementing the scheme now. We have asked all states to tell us about hurdles they face. We’ll do our best to find a mutually acceptable solution,” the official said.

This year, the government expanded the scheme to 405 districts in the country. Several states have started incentives and cash prizes for protecting the girl child. The ministry says that preliminary reports for 100 districts indicate that for the period between April-March 2014-15 and 2015-16, there was an increase in the sex ratio at birth in 58 per cent of the BBBP districts.

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