BETI BACHAO – BETI PADHAO
Save girls, save the girl child, is a campaign in India to end the gender-selective abortion of female foetuses, which has skewed the population towards a significant under-representation of girls in some Indian states. The “Beti Bachao” campaign is supported by Satya Sewa Trust, and state and local government in India.
Sex-selective abortion or female foeticide has led to a sharp drop in the ratio of girls born in contrast to boy infants in some states in India. Ultrasound technology has made it possible for pregnant women and their families to learn the gender of a foetus early in a pregnancy. Discrimination against girl infants, for several reasons, has combined with the technology to result in a rise in abortions of foetuses identified as female during ultrasound testing.
The trend was first noticed when results of the 1991 national census were released, and it was confirmed to be a worsening problem when results of the 2001 national census were released. The reduction in the female population of certain Indian states continues to worsen, as results of the 2011 national census have shown. It has been observed that the trend is most pronounced in relatively prosperous regions of India. The dowry system in India is often blamed; the expectation that a large dowry must be provided for daughters in order for them to marry is frequently cited as a major cause for the problem. Pressure for parents to provide large dowries for their daughters is most intense in prosperous states where high standards of living, and modern consumerism, are more prevalent in Indian society.
Rates of female foeticide in Madhya Pradesh are increasing; the rate of live births was 932 girls per 1000 boys in 2001, which dropped to 912 by 2011. It is expected that if this trend continues, by 2021 the number of girls will drop below 900 per 1000 boys
Beti Bachao awareness campaign
Beti Bachao activities include large rallies, po campaigns, wall paintings, billboards, and television commercials and short animations and video films. Celebrities such as video director Jagmeet Bal, and Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra, have become involved in beti bachao beti padhao abhayaan.
The Beti Bachao campaign is supported by numerous medical organizations in India, including the Indian Medical Association.
Government support at the state level has provided funding for Beti Bachao publicity activities in particular. The expenditures related to the campaign have been a source of political controversy in Madhya Pradesh, which launched its official Beti Bachao Abhiyan campaign in 2012.
The campaign has reported some success in parts of India. In 2009, it was reported that in Gujarat, rates of female births increased from 802 to 882 for every 1000 male births. Beti Bachao activities were credited with this improvement.