The Government recognizes that the problem of declining child sex ratio in India is not an isolated phenomenon but must be seen in the context of the low status of women and the girl child as a whole, within the home and outside. While its immediate reasons can be traced to increasing son-preference as well as advances in technology that has encouraged sex selective abortions, concern of safety and security of the girl child along with the practice of dowry are no less responsible for it.
Accordingly, the Government has undertaken a number of measures to improve survival and status of girl children in the country. While programmes for improvement of nutrition benefit all children including girl children, like the Integrated Child Development Scheme, National Rural Health Mission, Mid-day meal scheme etc., specific interventions for girl children include implementing the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994, pilot cash transfer scheme of ‘Dhanlakshmi’, setting up a Sectoral Innovation Council for improving child sex ratio and acting upon its recommendations, and the pilot scheme ‘Sabla’ for a comprehensive Intervention for adolescent girls in the age group of 11-18, with a focus on out of school girls in select 200 districts of the country.
Of these, ‘Dhanlakshmi’ provides conditional cash incentive, and the scheme does not discriminate on the basis of caste and economic status of parents. It is a pilot scheme being implemented in 11 blocks in seven States of the country.
The amount sanctioned, utilised and number of beneficiaries under ‘Dhanlakshmi’ are as below:
|Year||Grant Released (in Rupees)||Grant utilized (in Rupees)||Beneficiaries|
This was stated by Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister for Women and Child Development in a written reply to the RajyaSabha