The central government has spent about 400 crores on the media advocacy campaign of its flagship scheme Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP), which makes 58 per cent of the total expenditure that was assigned for the scheme. ₹ 683.05 crores were allocated for the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme from 2014-15 to 2020-21 and out of which 401 crore has been spent on the media campaign.
During a Rajya Sabha session, while answering a question, Smriti Irani, Women, and Child Development Minister said a total of 683 crores was assigned for the scheme and 401.04 crores had been spent on the scheme from 2014-15 to 2020-21. While responding to the question Smriti Irani in a written response mentioned that the key elements of the scheme were to include nationwide media drives and as per the guidelines of the scheme, the fund is allocated for districts for extending community outreach and generating awareness through the campaigns.
The primary objective of the scheme was inclusion, survival, and protection of the girl child. The scheme aimed to get rid of the discrimination that a girl child faces and focus on the protection and education of a girl child. The scheme aims to address the declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) issues and work on the empowerment of girls and women over a life cycle continuum.
Looking into the stats regarding the discrimination a girl child has to face, the gender-based hate crimes and violence that women have to face regularly in India, and the currency that has been spent only on the media advocacy campaigns show two completely different sides of the same coin. It looks like the central government has spent all the money in popularizing and establishing a bright image of their government and in reality, no real and appropriate work can be seen that has made any difference in the lives of women and the girl child.
Just a few days back a 20 years old woman was abducted and gang-raped in the national capital. Even if the state government announced the monetary value of ten lakh, this incident shouldn’t have happened in the first place. The police paid no attention to the complaint that was filed by the sister of the rape survivor. Sadly, this is the condition of law and order in our country.
According to the report, NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) reported 32033 rape cases which make 88 rape cases in a day. This is only 10% of all the crimes against women. Crimes against women have been seen to be increasing at a steady rate and experts have said that the stats could be low and less than the real figure as such cases are not reported because of the mindset of the society. In the years 2018 and 2019, the conviction rate for rape was below 30 per cent in India. This means that only 30 cases out of the 100 saw conviction.
Looking into the statistics of female infanticide which was one of the crucial aims of protection of the female child in the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Abhiyan, nearly 4.6 crores (45.8 million) females are ‘missing’ in Indian demography in the year 2020. In one of the reports released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in the year 2020, 45.8 million females were missing mainly due to pre and post-selection practices that stem from son preference and gender inequality. India is the second-highest contributor in the total of 142.6 million missing females accounting for almost one-third of the total figure.
The violence and hate crimes perpetrated on women are very high in our country. Violence against women was at the peak in the lockdown and many cases of domestic violence were reported at that time. All of these statistics show and highlight the dark side of the condition of women in India. The money that has been spent on popularizing the face of the ruling BJP government just looks like a hoax. The government has always had a habit of showing the brighter side of things even if the image is drastic on the other end.