Interview

Girls are the Most Precious Gift of God

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Manvinder Kaur

Social actions to ensure the survival of a girl child, in the form of initiatives to create awareness among people underscoring the importance of a girl child, have been the cornerstone of the district administration of Almora, writes Manvinder Kaur, Assistant Project Director, ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme, Almora.

Alarmed by the declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR), defined as number of girls per 1,000 of boys between 0-6 years of age, Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme in 2015. The scheme was launched with an objective of addressing the pre-birth discrimination manifested through gender-biased sex selection across the country, as many people simply don’t want to have a girl child and post birth discrimination against girls.

The scheme, which is being implemented through a national campaign and focused multi-sectoral action in 100 selected districts low in CSR, covering all States and UTs, has adopted a three-pronged approach— prevention of gender-biased sexselective elimination by making the determination of sex a punishable offence, ensuring survival and protection of the girl child and ensuring education and participation of the girl child.

Social actions to ensure the survival of a girl child, in the form of initiatives to create awareness among people underscoring the importance of a girl child, have been the cornerstone of the district administration of Almora. For example, we congratulate the parents of a girl child anBeti Bachao Beti Padhaod honour them with a ‘Badhai Patra’ (congratulatory letter) after birth.

Further, to protect and take care of the health and nutrition requirements of a girl child if she is underweight, anaemic or suffering from any kind of disease or disorder, the district administration has made provisions to provide treatment.

The third important focus area of the scheme is to educate the girl child. For that, many initiatives have been taken by the government and the district administration. These include motivating the parents to send their girl child to school, providing encouragement to meritorious girls in any field and give them some monetary help through the Nanda Gaura scheme. The district administration of Almora also tries to ensure the participation of girls in every field. For example, in programmes on ‘Save Girl and Protect Girl’, bike rallies to spread the message to save the girl and providing encouragement to those girls who have done good work in the field of education, sports, arts or any other field.

Girls are the most precious gift of God and we have to save the girl child. Our approach is that if we educate a boy, we educate one person but if we educate a girl we educate a family. Thanks to this approach, Uttarakhand has emerged as one of the best performing states in the country in ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ scheme. The state has performed consistently well in terms of child sex ratio at birth. As per the latest data, the state has seen the Sex Ratio at Birth increasing from 906 to 938, way above the national average of 923 girls per 1,000 boys.

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