Skilling of girls in non-traditional livelihoods included in ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padao’ scheme

Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani emphasises the importance of convergence between various departments for providing quality education to empower girls

October 12, 2022 03:17 am | Updated October 13, 2022 03:26 pm IST - New Delhi

Image for representational purposes only. File

Image for representational purposes only. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu Photo Library

Expanding the mandate of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padao’ scheme, the Central government on Tuesday announced the inclusion of skilling of girls in non-traditional livelihood (NTL) options in its flagship programme.

The scheme will now also focus on increasing the enrolment of girls in secondary education, particularly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects. Women have been historically under-represented areas such as technology.

Announcing the new inclusion in the scheme, Minister for Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani, emphasised the importance of convergence between various departments for providing quality education to empower girls. “Government has always encouraged and empowered girls to pursue vocation of their choice irrespective of gender stereotypes,” Ms. Irani said.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministries of Women and Child Development, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, and Minority Affairs. It emphasises convergence between Ministries and Departments to ensure adolescents complete their education, build skills, and enter the workforce in a diverse range of professions, including in STEM fields.

Ms. Irani also interacted with a group of adolescent girls who overcame gender-based discrimination, child marriage, and financial hardships to carve a niche for themselves with non-traditional skills.  

She said that her Ministry would also work towards counselling girls in choosing academic streams after school, and help girls in childcare institutions access skills to facilitate their financial independence and empowerment.  

Through this initiative, girls will be given skill training in non-traditional vocations, thereby making them torchbearers of a women-led Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India), she said.

“The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme has been revised, and it has a new and refreshing look. Some of the new aims we have for the scheme include ensuring 1% increment in enrolment at the secondary level and skilling of girls and women every year, raising awareness about safe menstrual hygiene, and promulgating elimination of child marriages. These are the new elements being included in the scheme,” Women and Child Development Secretary Indevar Pandey.

An operations manual to implement the scheme in districts was also launched at the event. A national committee headed by the Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, formed under the larger Mission Shakti mandate, will be the apex committee to review the implementation of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme at regular intervals with State governments and Union Territory administrations, the manual said.

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