Written by Shankhyaneel Sarkar | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday attacked the Centre over its ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ citing a parliamentary committee report which said that the government needs to focus more on education and health rather than advertising the scheme.
Rahul Gandhi said that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s slogan should be ‘chhavi bachao, photo chhapao’ which roughly translates to ‘save image, print photos) instead of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ in a tweet earlier today.
Earlier, the parliamentary committee on empowerment of women flagged that the funds under the schemes were poorly utilised by the state governments and Union Territories while urging the Centre to focus more on education and health rather than on advertising.
“The committee finds that out of a total of ₹446.72 crore released during the period 2016-2019, a whopping 78.91 per cent was spent only on media advocacy. Though the committee understands the necessity to undertake a media campaign to spread the message of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ among the people, they feel that it is equally important to balance the objectives of the scheme,” the panel highlighted.
The panel said that since the scheme has managed to capture national attention and influence the national consciousness regarding the necessity of valuing the girl child it should now focus on making financial provisions in order to achieve measurable outcomes related to education and health, the aim with which the scheme was rolled out.
“This is one of the most important schemes of the government to improve child sex ratio in backward regions and ensure education of the girl children, the committee recommends that the government should, hereafter, reconsider spending on advertisements under the ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ scheme and should focus on planned expenditure allocation for sectoral interventions in education and health,” the panel observed.