Reviewing the success of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) By Aakanksha Madhavaram

The article discusses the failures of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme, 2015.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao is a scheme by the Government of India, launched in January 2015, to save and educate the girl child. The ambitious project was introduced due to the declining Child Sex ratio (CSR) in the country, which was at an all-time low of 918 in 2011 from 976 in 1961. The initiative is a tri-ministerial effort undertaken by the Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare and Human Resource Development. In January this year, the Ministry of Woman and Child Development (WCD) attributed the improvement of Sex Ratio at Birth, from 918 girls per 1000 boys in 2014-15 to 934 girls per 1000 boys in 2019-20, to the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme. The Finance minister in her 2020 budget speech also said that the campaign was a tremendous success. Child Sex ratio and Education Despite the tall claims of the government, the scheme’s success is partial at best. The government claims that 422 of the 640 districts in the programme showed an improvement in the sex ratio at birth. But the government's aim to increase the education levels of girls remains unfulfilled. In 2014, the gross enrolment ratio for girls in primary education was 107.86 which increased to 108.45 in 2015 and 114.53 in the year 2016. It then saw a marginal drop to 122.95 in 2017 and fell drastically to 96.82 in the year 2019. This is not only lower since the inception of the scheme but is also India’s lowest in the last 10 years. The scheme has also not managed to bridge the gap in literacy between males and females. In 2018, while the average literacy rate in India stands at 74.3%, the literacy rate of men and women stands at 82.37% and 65.79% respectively. Under utilisation of funds Since its launch more than half a decade ago, the scheme has earmarked 100 crores every year, which was increased to 200 crores in 2017-18, and further raised to 280 crores in 2018-2019. Despite that, the WCD allocated 43 crores for the scheme out of which only 32.7 crores were released. In 2017-18, out of the allocated 200 crores, 169.1 crores were released. In 2019-20, out of the allocated 280 crores, 244.92 crores were released. But 55% of the funds allotted for the scheme remain unutilised in the last five years (2015-16 to 2019-20). Moreover, most of the government spending was used on advertising each year. According to the MWCD, 91% of the funds released were used for media activities in 2016-27, 80% and 65% of the funds in 2017-18 and 2019-20 respectively were used for advertisements, while only a marginal amount was disbursed to districts and states. Conclusion The government's aim to increase the sex ratio, improve education levels of girls and raise awareness on gender issues, but without effective use of funds in terms of interventions in the education and health sectors they fall flat. According to a study, “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao: A Boon'', despite an enormous amount of funds spent on advertising and raising awareness, the message of the scheme did not reach its beneficiaries. The failure of the programme lies in its inability to address the root cause behind the practice of female infanticide, gender inequality and patriarchy in society. Bibliography