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Longleng catches Centre’s attention with low Child Sex Ratio

By EMN Updated: Oct 14, 2015 12:20 am

BBBP scheme launched in Nagaland

Our Correspondent

Chief Minister TR Zeliang today launched the state level ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ (BBBP), a central scheme that translates to ‘Save the Girl Child, Educate Her’, at a function held in his residential office here in Kohima.
The BBBP scheme aims to address the significant declining trend in the Child Sex Ratio (CSR) between 0-6 years of age. The 2011 Census data of India recorded an all time low CSR of 918 in the country, and Longleng district in Nagaland has been identified as one among 100 gender critical districts across the country with a CSR of 885. The current Longleng figure reportedly indicates a sharp decline from 964 in 2001 Census, and is the lowest amongst the districts identified in the north-eastern states.
The government of India, through this scheme, aims to address the serious issue through a mass campaign across the country and through focused intervention and multi-sectoral action, by celebrating the girl child, to make coordinated and convergent efforts to ensure her survival, protection and education.
“Just as we celebrate the arrival of a boy child, let us also celebrate the birth of a girl child… Let us make coordinated and convergent efforts to ensure her survival and protection, and create an environment to enable her education,” making that clarion call in his address at the state’s official launching of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, the Chief Minister highlighted that the BBBP is a significant step to reinforce the sense of responsibility towards girls by seeking to address gender imbalances and discrimination against the girl child.
He pointed out that the global community is making efforts to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges they face around the world, and with the world moving towards a more equitable and inclusive society, he maintains that Nagaland cannot afford to be left behind.
In the context of Nagaland, the Chief Minister opined that there is no practice of deliberate mechanical or medical intervention to prevent the birth of a girl child despite the traditional preference for male child as with most of the patrilineal societies. Being one of such societies, he said the Nagas also used to prefer boys over girls when it came to giving education, however this old tradition is gradually dying a natural death, he added. He expressed happiness that now equal importance is given to both boys and girls now and most of the girls are doing better than the boys in many of the competitive exams.
On a more sombre note, Zeliang acknowledged that the traditional bias in favour of the male child may still persist to a certain degree in the more remote rural areas of the state and it is these areas where the BBBP campaign needs to be directed.
On the low CSR recorded in the state particularly the district of Longleng, he questioned if it could be the process of natural selection or could some other factors be behind it. Towards this end, he asked the department of Health & Family Welfare to immediately carry out an independent survey and ascertain the reason for the drastic fall in the ratio.
While stating that the BBBP is a noble scheme, the Chief Minister emphasized that its success would depend on the implementation and he urged the state and district task forces as well as the stakeholders to work towards proper implementation of the program through judicious fund management so as to accomplish the real purpose. He suggested on working towards improved sex ratio at birth, better nutritional status, increased enrolment in school/secondary education, better health facilities and a safer environment for girls.
Minister of Social Welfare, Kiyaneilie Peseyie, who delivered the keynote address on the occasion, asserted that Longleng district being identified as one of the lowest in CSR in the NE calls for urgent action. “The fact that Longleng has caught the attention of the Centre means that the focus light is being flashed on this district and the state in general. We need to carefully strategise and make sure that there is substantial quality change with the implementation of BBBP. The minister also called upon all the local NGOs, CBOs, civil society groups, women’s organizations and educational institutional institutions to take this as an opportunity to work together, giving their best to this cause since the implied poor status of girls in this district has caught the Centre’s attention and needs to be addressed.
The badge for ‘Ambassador of the Girl Child Education’ was also launched on the occasion, wherein three teams of ambassadors will lead the state in promoting and contributing for the education of a girl child each. It was announced during the programme that Nagaland is the first state in India with the Chief Minister & team, the Governor & team, and the Chief Secretary & team as the ambassadors for the cause of the girl child education.
The programme was chaired by the secretary Social Welfare, Dellirose M Sakhrie, while the secretary State Resource Centre for Women (SRCW) & mission director BBBP Daisy P Mezhur highlighted the aims and objectives of the scheme.
The SRCW has been appointed as the project management unit for BBBP Nagaland chapter, and other line departments include the departments of Social Welfare, Health & Family Welfare and School Education.

By EMN Updated: Oct 14, 2015 12:20:11 am