'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign: Officers to be held responsible for progress

The minister was responding to a query on decline in the child sex-ratio at Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.
'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign: Officers to be held responsible for progress
'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign: Officers to be held responsible for progress
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District magistrates of the respective areas will be held responsible for poor progress under the Centre's 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' campaign aimed at protecting and empowering the girl child, Union minister Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday said.

"Wherever we have not done well, I will be talking to them (DMs) through video conferencing every day. Every DM will have to give me a report and anybody who has failed, it will go into his Annual Confidential Report (ACR) because I will be discussing it with the Chief Minister concerned," she said.

The Women and Child Development Minister was responding to a query at the All Women Journalists' workshop in New Delhi on decline in the child sex-ratio at Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.

"District authorities need to tell all the village sarpanches about Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act and provide them counselling to ensure protection of women from violence," a senior ministry official said.

"They have to put the fear of PCPNDT Act as Haryana has done. It is the key to it. They need to map and register all the ultrasound machines in the districts and establish a web portal," he said.

The official said that 49 out of 100 districts selected under the programme had recorded significant improvement in child sex-ratio.

The scheme puts the onus on deputy commissioners and district magistrates for adopting a proactive approach by launching creative initiatives to change the attitude of the people on the issue of the girl child.

Months after her statement that "concept of marital rape cannot be applied in the Indian context" created some controversy, Union minister Maneka Gandhi today said even if there was a law against it, women are unlikely to complain about this kind of abuse.

The Minister for Women and Child Development said women could instead file complaint of marital rape under the existing Domestic Violence law.

"We have a law already on violence against women and that includes marital rape. The point is that there has never been a complaint under it, never...We can use domestic violence (law) and then build on it but at the moment there is not even one complaint," she told an All Women Journalists' Warkshop at Vigyan Bhawan.

"A lot of women who feel very angry with their husbands and hate them, would really want them to be finished and still have two children and they think about them and they take a decision appropriately...I can have a law on marital rape but it will make no difference because no one will complain," she said.

She had earlier courted controversy saying, "The concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to...mindset of the society to treat marriage as a sacrament, etc."

The workshop seen participation of over 250 journalists from 30 states and Union Territories across the country, representing 120 media organisations.

Maneka made a presentation on the issues taken up by the Women and Child Development Ministry in the past two years.

She highlighted the numerous 'firsts' of the Ministry like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme, setting up of One Stop Centres for women in distress, Mahila e-Haat, panic button on mobile phones, guidelines for matrimonial websites, 33 per cent reservation for women in police force among others. 

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