The All India Mahila Congress President, Sushmita Dev, has alleged that the response given by Virendra Kumar on the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme contradicted the PIB press release on January 22, 2019.
“The “happy outcome” of the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' Scheme as claimed by the Minister in the PIB press release dated January 22, 2019 is in direct contradiction with what the Government of India claimed on the floor of the House in response to Unstarred Question number 4114 answered on 04.01.19 in the Lok Sabha,” the Congress leader said in a press statement.
Union Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Virendra Kumar had responded to a question posed in the Lok Sabha on January 4 stating that the government had allocated ₹684 crore for the programme of which ₹364.66 crore was spent on advertising and ₹159.18 crore was distributed to different states and districts. This meant that almost 56% of the total fund was spent solely on advertising. This also meant that over 19% (approximately ₹124 crore) of the funds were not even released by the government at the beginning of PM Modi’s tenure.
The question was posed by five MP’s: Kapil Patil and Shivkumar Udasi of the BJP, Sushmita Dev of the Congress, Gutha Sukender Reddy of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and Sanjay Jadhav of the Shiv Sena.
When asked about “whether the scheme has failed due to lack of policy implementation, ineffective monitoring mechanisms and diversion of funds”, the government stated that it had no impact assessment conducted for the scheme and was solely relying on the HMIS data for improvement in sex ratio.
To put it simply, the government has itself said that there is nothing to prove that the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' scheme has been the cause of this improvement in sex ratio.
The minister had elaborated that during the first phase of the scheme in 2015, the focus was on 100 districts and during the second phase in 2016, the government added 61 more districts.
However, the Child Sex Ratio showed a decline since 2015 in 53 districts from the total of 161 districts. This included 32 districts from the first phase and 21 from the second phase.
The decline in the Union Territories was particularly sharp. As seen in Nicobar, where the child sex ratio fell from 985 females per 1000 males in 2014-15 to 839 in 2016-17 and Yanam in Puducherry where it fell from 1107 in 2014-15 to 976.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme on January 22, 2015 with two aims. The first was to change the child sex ratio in many parts of India and the other aim was to "change the mindsets regarding the girl child". The government intended for a “multi-sectoral action” with the help of three ministries, Women and Child Development, Health and Family Welfare and Human Resource Development.