54% of 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' expenditure since 2014 has been on media advocacy: Govt
A total of Rs 401 crore was assigned for media advocacy for the prime minister's flagship 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' scheme between 2014-22, constituting about 54 per cent of the total expenditure, according to Women and Child Development Ministry.
The scheme aims to address declining child sex ratio and issues related to empowerment of girls and women over a life cycle.
The key elements of the scheme included nationwide media and advocacy campaign and multi-sectoral interventions in selected 405 districts.
In response to a question, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani told Lok Sabha out of the total expenditure of Rs 740.18 crore from financial year 2014-15 to 2021-22, the expenditure on media advocacy campaign has been Rs. 401.04 crore which is approximately 54 per cent of the total expenditure.
Since BBBP has been designed to bring an attitudinal shift in society towards valuing the girl child, expenditure towards media advocacy was more in the initial stages to create scheme awareness and behavioral change, she said.
The advocacy campaign under BBBP have been able to successfully establish the brand BBBP which has an excellent recall value, she said in a written response.
As on outcome of carefully crafted BBBP media campaigns, the tagline has become immensely popular so much so that it finds place on personal vehicles and is the theme for dinner time discussions at home, she said.
Now, as the scheme has been able to create awareness for the cause, focus on media advocacy campaign has been shifted to zero budget or minimal expenditure based in the past two years, she said.
Responding to another question, Irani said to upgrade Anganwadi Centres, two lakh AWCs (40,000 AWCs per year) across the country have been approved to be upgraded as Saksham Anganwadi by providing better infrastructure including Poshan Vatikas for improved quality of services in health, nutrition and Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE).