Rajasthan unleashes the Hamari Beti Express campaign to save the girl child

To confront the issue of skewed sex ratio, the Rajasthan government has adopted a rather innovative way to reach out to the people to save girls – vans.

‘Hamari Beti Express', a mobile unit, will travel across the State to disseminate the messages on the girl child in villages and hamlets. The initiative aims to increase the participation of common people and panchayat representatives on the issue.

During the campaign launch in Jaipur recently, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Sudip Bandyopadhyay said, “We want spread the message that daughters should be respected and treated well.”

The Rajasthan government is working on a multi-pronged strategy to promote the value of the girl child and improve the child sex ratio in the State. To begin with the Hamari Beti Express comprises of three vans -- for information, education and communication (IEC) -- each of which will reach out to the rural and urban population over the year and disseminate messages on the ‘value of the girl child' and implementation of the Pre-Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act. Events like Balika Janmotsavas will also be organised in communities during the visit of the vans to motivate and capacitate the community to take this initiative forward and ensure that such events are held at regular intervals and made a part of local campaigns.

Four IEC vans will cover four directions; Jaipur division, Jodhpur and Bikaner, Udaipur and Ajmer, and Kota and Bharatpur. These will help in strengthening public education on the declining child sex ratio and the need to respect the law that bans the sex determination and sex selection.

An informed set of local communicators including members of the Panchayat Samiti and Gram Panchayat, Village Health and Sanitation Committee members, auxiliary nurse midwives, aanganwadi workers and accredited social health activists will be created to take the message from the communication vehicle to the ground.

The Hamari Beti Express will help in improving the child sex ratio by motivating stakeholders who are implementing development initiatives, especially girl child and women schemes, to work together and link their programmes, and forge partnerships with Panchayat Samities and Gram Panchayats in order to maximize outreach on the issue.