N0ew Delhi, July 28 (IANS) Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on Friday described West Bengal’s Kanyashree scheme “effective” but refused to adopt it as a model project that can be followed by other states.
The “Kanyashree Prakalpa” recently bagged United Nation’s highest award for empowering the girl child with education.
Maneka Gandhi, however, said Kolkata is showing a severe declining trend in child sex ratio and urged West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to adopt the “Beti Bachao Beto Padhao” programme of the central government.
“While the programme which the West Bengal government has launched on their own is effective, it is the only state in India which has completely refused to implement the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme,” Gandhi said.
“As a result, of 161 districts, Kolkata is showing a severe declining trend,” she added while responding to a query by a Trinamool Congress member during Question Hour.
“On the scheme that they have started, many states have done equally well in implementing similar schemes. In Kolkata, the child sex ration has gone down from 1,022 to 898. In fact, Kolkata is unfortunately the worst of 161 districts that we have taken,” Gandhi said.
Mriganko Mahato, a TMC member from Purulia in West Bengal, urged the Minister to adopt Banerjee’s pet scheme “Kanyashree ” as a model project that can be followed by other states.
“So many states have got similar programmes and are doing extremely well. But I would urge the West Bengal government to adopt the ‘Beti Bachao Beto Padhao’ programme because it is not political. It benefits girls. I see no reason why the Chief Minister should not adopt the programme,” Gandhi responded.
However, responding to a similar demand by BJP’s Rajasthan member Santosh Ahlawat, the minister said: “It is an effective scheme and we will see whether it can be adopted or not.”
The BJP leader said “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” scheme has been an extremely successful programme.
“In the first year of 2014, we took 100 districts and at the end of the year, 58 districts had done extremely well and even going up by 100 points. In the second year, we took 161 districts and so far the reports that have come in, we have done extremely well in 104 districts,” she said.
Later talking to IANS, Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandopadhyay said the budget for “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” scheme is only Rs 100 crore while the West Bengal government is spending much more on “Kanyashree” scheme.