GUWAHATI, Feb 21 – The decline in the CSR (Child Sex Ratio) is a major indicator of women disempowerment. It reflects both, pre-birth discrimination manifested through gender biased sex selection, and post birth discrimination against girls.
While states like Punjab and Haryana have abysmal CSR, in recent years the malaise has also spread to other states, including Assam.
Now the Kamrup Metro district has been selected by the Central government as one of the 100 project districts across India for implementation of the flagship Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme to empower the girl child.
“This gives us the scope to do a lot of regulatory and enforcement related things for holistic development and empowerment of the girl child. A lot can change through intervention,” Dr M Angamuthu, Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup Metro, told The Assam Tribune today.
A District Action Plan has been prepared and implementation will take place over three years.
In the next one and a half months, the Kamrup Metro administration will undertake orientation and sensitization programmes including officials, health workers, local and religious leaders, elected representatives and others, besides training of frontline workers.
Kamrup Metro is the only district in Assam selected for the scheme. It will be implemented through a national campaign and focused multi-sectoral action and is a joint initiative of Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Kamrup Metro’s CSR as per the 2011 Census was 946 and it was 943 in 2001. While it is higher than national CSR of 918, among all districts in Assam it is the worst.
Among the core objectives of BBBP scheme are to prevent gender biased sex selective elimination, ensuring survival and protection of the girl child and ensuring education of the girl child.
The targets include improving the Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) by 10 points in a year, reducing gender differentials and Under Five Child Mortality Rate from 8 points in 2011 to 4 points by 2017, improving the nutrition status of girls by reducing number of underweight and anaemic girls under 5 years of age, ensuring universalization of ICDS, girls’ attendance and equal care monitored, increasing girls’ enrolment in secondary education, providing girls’ toilet in every school by 2017, promoting a protective environment for girl children through implementation of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012 and training elected representatives and grass-root functionaries as ‘Community Champions’ to mobilize communities to improve CSR and promote girls’ education.
As part of the core strategy, the district administration has chalked out a plan for implementation of a sustained social mobilization and communication campaign to create equal value for the girl child and promote her education, besides to place the issue of decline in CSR/SRB in public discourse and to mobilize and local bodies, NGOs and grass-root workers in partnership with local community, women and youth groups.
“Incentives will also be provided including awards to volunteers and active workers who show commendable work in this regard,” said a senior official.
Of the 100 districts selected across the country, 87 districts have CSR below national average of 918, eight districts have CSR above national average of 918 but are showing declining trend, while another five districts have CSR above national average of 918 and are showing improving trend.
“These are selected so that these CSR levels can be maintained and other districts can emulate and learn from their experiences,” said the official.