The Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao (BBBP) campaign launched in 2015 in Haryana have brought positive results leading to improvement in the child sex ratio in a state known for skewed sex ratio. A study has claimed that the policy regulations have ensured significant change in sex ratio at birth (SRB) in Haryana.
The study jointly conducted by Chandigarh’s PGI, Haryana government officers and IPE Global, a consulting firm, which recently appeared in a journal ‘Health Policy and Planning’ published by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has explained how the campaign has changed the scenario in terms of the ratio of girl and boys.
After launch of the BBBP in Haryana in 2015, the sex ratio at birth has increased to 914 in 2017 in comparison to just 871 newly born females against each 1,000 males in 2014. However, the researchers have examined the SRB figures based on civil registration system up to September 2016 from 2005 when the sex ratio at birth was 827.
According to the researchers, the sex ratio at birth in Haryana improved by 1.696 points per month between June 2015 to September 2016 which was just 0.012 % before the launch of the campaign. The researchers believe that the campaign started showing visible impact in figures almost after six months of its launch because of various factors including pregnancies and deliveries.
“Our study is the first evidence, which points towards the beneficial effect of a comprehensive regulatory policy to curb the sex selective abortion in India,” says Shankar Prinja from School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, in the study. Speaking to The Indian Express on Saturday, Prinja said, “If the campaign was not launched effectively, virtually, there would not have any significant impact on the sex ratio at birth.”
Apart from Prinja, who is corresponding author of the study, PGIMER’s Ruby Nimesh, IPE Global’s Parveen Bhalla, Haryana cadre IAS officer Rakesh Gupta and state project coordinator of ‘Beti Bachao- Beti Padhao GL Singhal also contributed to the study.
The study titled ‘Effectiveness of India’s National Programme to save the girl child: experience of Beti Bachao Beti Padao (B3P) programme from Haryana state’ pointed out that how the campaign was monitored at the highest level including by the Chief Minister himself. Since BBBP’s launch in 2015, in a span of 12 months, 250 first informing reports (FIRs) were registered, 200 persons including doctors, unqualified medical practitioners, patients and their relatives were arrested under the various provisions of PC-PNDT and MTP Acts. Decoy pregnant female customers seeking sex determination played an important role in their arrests. The state police also collaborated with enforcement agencies from neighbouring states to nab the culprits.
Out of 100 gender critical districts in the country chosen based on child sex ratio (0-6 years) of census 2011 for action under BBBP programme to control the menace of sex selective abortions in January 2015, Haryana had 12 districts. In 2005, 15 of 21 districts in Haryana state recorded SRB below 850 females per 1000 males. In 2011, while four districts from these 15 districts crossed this mark (850), SRB declined in another four districts; Jhajjar (from 801 to 774), Mahendragarh (818 to 778), Rewari (814 to 784) and Faridabad (847 to 842).