PART - II
By Archa Datta
Community participation with the involvement of local leaders is key to the success of any mass mobilisation program that primarily targets at changes in attitude and behavioural pattern. The BBBP campaign strongly advocates for the association of all local leaders and grass-root functiories who will be trained as community champions.
The major plank on which this mass mobilisation movement is based ison the creation of an ebling environment for the birth of a girlchild. The PM, in his iugural speech at Panipat, recalled the example of Jayapura village in Varasi, where the birth of a girl child is a cause for celebration and five trees are planted on each such occasion. He exhorted every village to emulate such celebrations on the birth of a girl child.
The programme lays stress on generating a supportive atmosphere for the birth of a girl child- both at home and at the community level. Creation of awareness about safe motherhood, delivery and worth of a girl child is a step in this direction. It envisages promotion of awareness for early registration of pregncy in the first trimester at AWCs/Health Centres forpre-tal and post-tal care and counselling of mothers. For this, community watch groups like women panchayat members, trained teachers, youth groups, and other local leaders are required to be identified to act as facilitators.
With regard to ensuring enrolment of girls in school education, the program speaks of activating School Magement Committees (SMCs) for universal enrolment of girls through special drives and creation of Balika Manches, or Girls’ Forum, to encourage participation of girls in school and also to bring back drop outs. For drop out girls, BBBP proposes to launch massive village contact drives with the help of AWWs, ASHAs, PRIs, and other Community leaders. There is provision for incentives and awards to School Magement Committees or SMCs which enrols 100% girls at the primary level and also retains them in the first year, and for transition of 100% girls from class V into class VI, from class VIII to class IX and from class X to class XI. The competition to encourage girl’s enrolment and retention is open to all Government schools.
Apart from this, the campaign proposes organising mass events like ari Chaupal, BetiJanmotsav, and monthly celebration of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao program as an event and to also observe tiol Girl Child Day and Intertiol Women’s Day for a sustained impact. To fight against socio-cultural prejudices, BBBP envisages mounting more girl or women-centric festivities like celebration of Lohri for the birth of a daughter, siblings tying rakhis to each other on Rakshya Bandhan Day, etc.
Sensitisation campaign should also bring forth positive reinforcements in favour of a girl child like daughters as providers of old age security to parents and the benefits of simple weddings to protect parents from fincial burden of dowry and equal property rights for daughters and sons and prevention of early and child marriage.
The declining sex ratio is a cause for concern and its persistence has serious implications for our society and the future of humankind. Providing education to a girl child is to empower a large section of the population. The BBBP, through its tion-wide campaign with a two-pronged strategy and focussed interventions in 100 gender critical districts, is sure to make the desired impact on the socio-cultural landscape of our country and pave the way for inclusive and sustained growth. (PIB) (Concluded)