Beti Bachao Beti Padhao – Save Girl Child, Educate Girl Child

“An educated Girl will stay healthy, save money, build a business, empower her community, lift her country and change the world.”

Background: The current census (2011) data has revealed a declining trend in Child Sex Ratio (CSR) between 0-6 years with an all time low of 919. India has not improved gender indicators especially related to Sex Ratio and CSR. The issue of declining CSR is a major indicator of women disempowerment as it begins before birth, manifests in gender biased sex selection and elimination and continues in various forms of discrimination towards girl child after birth in fulfilling her health, nutrition and education needs. The practice of sex selective elimination of the female fetus due to easy availability and affordability of medical diagnostic tools has been a critical influencer of the skewed sex ratio. Further, there is little doubt that strong socio-cultural and religious biases, preferences for sons in almost all Indian communities has also shaped societal attitudes towards girls.

Given the complexity of the issue, there is a need for coordinated and multi sectoral convergent action including Information Education and Communication (IEC) and Behavior Change Communication (BCC) campaigns and community mobilization initiatives towards improving CSR, promoting the value of the girl and highlighting the importance of empowering her with education. A campaign like the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao can not only draw the attention of the masses to a grave concern like declining CSR but also lead to change the mindsets towards empowering daughters through education.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao: Realizing the gravity of the issue, it was highlighted in the Address to the Joint Session of the Parliament by the President in June, 2014 and thereafter, in the Budget speech of the Government. Since coordinated and convergent efforts are needed to ensure survival, protection and empowerment of the girl child, Government has announced Beti Bacho Beti Padhao initiative. This has been launched by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at Panipat, Haryana on Jan 22, 2015. The Government has decided that the Ministry of Women and Child Development shall be the Nodal Ministry for implementing this joint Scheme which will be implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Objectives:

The objectives of this initiative are:

  • Prevention of gender biased sex selective elimination
  • Ensuring survival and protection of the girl child
  • Ensuring education and participation of the girl child

Critical Components:

The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) initiative has two major components.

(i) Media Campaign and

(ii) Multi-sectoral action in 100 selected districts (as a pilot) with adverse CSR, covering all States and UTs

  • Effective implementation of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT) is a critical and non-negotiable aspect of this scheme.
  • Empowering the girl child through education and creating an enabling environment that provides equal access to education, health, employment/skill development etc. is another critical component.
  • Enhancing the value of the girl child through awareness generation is the other critical component. The Media Campaign, geared towards achieving this, would underline the need to use communication that encourages equal value of the girls and emphasize that she is not a liability.
  • Gender Equality: BBBP also highlights the need for gender equality enshrined in the Constitution of India and brings out how neglect of girls and discrimination throughout her life cycle leads to an unequal status for the girls. It also aims to break myths about roles of men and women in society so that negative attitudes and behaviors steeped in patriarchy changed.
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TERRORISM – Introduction

Origin: The word “Terrorism” comes from a Latin word “Terrere” which means creating fear or extrme anxiety or frighten.

Meaning of Terrorism:

“The covert use of violence against state and/or society” is the simplest way of looking at terrorism.

It can also be understood as “an attempt to acquire or maintain power by creating fear or helplessness in the society at large scale”.

Definition of Terrorism:

League of Nations Convention on Terrorism (1937) declares that “Terrorism is a criminal act to create fear in the state and society on a continuous basis, in order to produce psychological effects in people”.

According to the International Law Commission, Terrorism “is deliberate threat or use of violence, when such action creates extreme anxiety and fear in groups bigger than the immediate victims”.

Terrorism can result in the creation of an atmosphere of fear, and cause civilian deaths in order to coerce a government to succumb to a particular political demand by the terrorist group. Any terrorist activity reflects the tactical goal of intimidating the target population in order to achieve the strategic purpose of coercing the government representing that population into certain political concessions.

Other ways of looking at Terrorism:

The Council of the European Union on 13 June 2002 defined terrorism as “international acts that caused damage to government facility, transport infrastructure, etc thereby endangering human life and so forth.

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) defines terrorism as “the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological”.

The U.S. Department of State defines terrorism to be “premeditated politically-motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience”.

Background:

Terrorism is a deadly act committed by highly trained and motivated people who are devoid of humanity and have no value for human life. Terrorists use the rights and liberties inherent in a democratic society to operate with comparative freedom and then use the democratic laws to circumvent or evade the consequences. Terrorism doesn’t have a religion. There are or have been terrorists belonging to almost all the religions of the world: to associate terrorism with any particular religion is unjustified and unfair. The ‘coalition’ in the fight against terrorist and religion together even though, in this instance, a militant ‘Islamist’ organization is the perpetrator. The genesis of terrorism can be attributed to the development of exclusive instead of inclusive societies. Terrorism draws its strength from one of three sources: militant religious fundamentalism, ethnic intolerance or deprivation. Militant religious fundamentalism, advocates the use of unbridled violence to terrorize the population and the state achieve their ends.

The terrorist groups are not ordinary civilians or some misguided youth but the paramilitary organs of militant extremism such as LeT, Naxalites, and the like who believe in the culture of extreme violence and whose objective is destruction of the established social system and structure, that is, the whole way of life of free societies.

While there could be several antecedent causes of terrorism, some of the most significant ones are a perceived sense of injustice by the aggrieved group, and a belief by that group that the use of violence will bring about a change. Thereby, most terrorist groups use their political ends for justifying violent means.

(Rise follows….)