Beti Bachao Beti Padhao: 78.91 Percent Of Allocated Funds Used For Advertising

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Beti Bachao Beti Padhao funds: A report by the women empowerment panel was recently put forth during the ongoing Lok Sabha session pointing at poor utilisation of allocated fund. The report found that allocated funds to the scheme, ever since its inception in 2014, have largely been used for the purpose of media advocacy. It further revealed that out of the allocated funds for the scheme Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, only 25.13 percent has been spent by the states. Thus calling for a stricter balance and check.

The findings were presented by the committee on December 9 in Lok Sabha. The title of the report is Empowerment of Women Through Education With Special Reference to Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao Scheme. The time frame discussed in the report is stated as the beginning of the scheme in the year 2014-15 till 2019-20.

The report stated that a total of Rs 848 crore was allocated by the centre for the scheme. Out of which Rs 622.48 crore was released to the state. The states used only Rs 156.46 crore of the funds, thus utilising only 25.13 percent.

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Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign was launched by the Government of India to generate awareness and efficiency in welfare services for girls.

While citing the data, the committee also pointed that despite such less spending on a crucial scheme, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) kept releasing additional funds. “Even C&AG had made references to the scheme’s implementation and very less spending by states in 2016-17,” the report said.

The report also added that WCD had “no disaggregated” information on states or union territories spendings of the funds. The committee recommended that WCD should immediately check with the states and UTs on this and further ensure that funds under the scheme help the girl child.

The committee, while pointing out the spending issues and implementation lag, also noted that out of the total allocated funds, Rs 446.72 crore (amounting to 78.91 percent), during 2016 and 2019, was used on “media advocacy.”

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According to the WCD press release on January 23, 2019, on the reports about the improvement through the scheme, it was stated that the gross enrollment ratio of girls in the schools at the secondary level has improved from 77.45 to 81.32. The Ministry also revealed that the percentage of schools with separate toilets for girls has improved from 92.1 percent in 2014-15 to 95.1 percent in 2018-19.

Understanding that awareness through advertisment is important, the committee stressed that so is its implementation and outreach. The report noted that in the last six years media advocacy of the scheme has captured political attention but now the time is to focus on the outcomes related to education and health, as the scheme promises.

The scheme was brought to improve the child sex ratio in the backward regions and ensure an improvement in girl child education. The scheme also focused on various provisions and incentives that can help in increment of the number of girls in schools and high education, which meant ensuring that the dropout rates amongst girls go down.

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However, the report by the women empowerment panel suggests that girls one of the reasons why girls continue to drop out of schools is the lack of functioning toilets. As per the report, 94.8 percent of schools out of 15,16,797 have girls toilets. The data includes both co-ed and girls schools. Although out of that 94.8 percent, only 90.65 percent have “functional” toilets for girls.

This comes under the scheme as well as government other running schemes like Jal Shakti Mission which was flagged to ensure tapped water supply. But the UDISE reports suggest that only 95.4 percent of toilets for girls have running water and doors which can be locked from inside.