Port Blair May 02: The Bureau of Outreach and Communication, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, GoI has organized various cultural programmes from April 23 to 30 on ‘BetiBachao-BetiPadhao’-a Govt. of India initiative to save and educate the girl child, under the aegis of ‘Ek Bharat-Shrestha Bharat. The valedictory function of this special programme, held in the Islands too, was organized by the Bureau of Outreach and Communication, in association with the Department of Social Welfare, A&N Administration in the auditorium of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Institute of Technology, Dollygunj on April 30. The Lt. Governor, A&N Islands, Admiral DK Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd.) was the chief guest of the valedictory function. The Member of Parliament,BishnuPada Ray also graced the programme. The Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, AnindoMajumdar was the guest of honour. Rupa Ray, DGP, Nuzhat Hassan, Director, Bureau of Outreach and Communication, Ministry of I&B, GoI, Anurag Mishra, senior officers of the Administration, school & college students and general public also witnessed this programme.
Addressing the gathering, the Lt. Governor remarked that various Departments and agencies have been organizing ‘BetiBachaoBetiPadhao’ awareness programmes across the country, as there is a need to change the mentality of the society towards girl children. “Despite, 70 years of Independence of our country and this being 21st century, women are still being looked down upon, whereas they are equally important for the growth and development of the society”, he said.
The atrocities meted out to women/girl children and the low sex ratio witnessed in certain parts of the country have become a cause of concern, but here in A&N Islands, the situation is much better when compared to other parts of the country, said the Lt. Governor. However, the need to further improve the sex ratio has been felt here too, and efforts are on by the Administration to achieve equal sex ratio, by conducting various awareness programmes. “Due to concerted efforts and advocacy on gender equality, recently, the Islands have witnessed improvement in the sex ratio, which is a good sign; and should continue”, he said.
The Lt. Governor further stated that the ‘BetiBachao-BetiPadhao’ scheme was launched by the Prime Minister on January 22, 2015 with an aim to improve the efficiency of welfare services intended for girls and to improve the sex ratio in the country. “The scheme has been propagated in every nook and corner of the country, as there have been cases of unfavourable sex ratio in certain parts of the country”, said the Lt. Governor. Along with other States, the Nicobar District in A&N Islands has also been selected in the first phase under ‘BetiBachao-BetiPadhao’ programme to help improve the status of girl children and several awareness programmes are being organized to achieve the goal. Similarly, in Port Blair and other parts of the Islands, programmes to create gender sensitization, stress on importance of higher education are being held while zonal level sports for girls are also being organized to empower girl children, the Lt Governor said.
The Central/State Governments, civil societies, NGOs, media and other agencies are also playing important roles in promoting the welfare of women and girl children in the country. The Bureau of Outreach and Communication and the Song and Drama Division of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, GoI are creating awareness on ‘BetiBachaoBetiPadhao’ scheme among the rural masses through various outreach programmes to achieve equal sex ratio, said the Lt. Governor adding that through such initiatives, the entire country is now being awakened towards the need for empowering women/ girl children and to ensure their safety.
The Lt. Governor remarked that women today are marching hand in hand with men, they are independent and can be seen making their marks in various walks of life, be it in defence or in sports like boxing; and we must continue to empower them. He called upon all to create conducive environment for women and girl children to thrive in peace. Mentioning that the safety of women and girls is of prime importance, the Lt Governor urged everyone to make collective efforts to achieve this goal; and march towards the path of development.
The Lt. Governor also administered the pledge on ‘New India’ to the gathering on the occasion.
The Director, Bureau of Outreach and Communication, Anurag Mishra presented a book titled ‘Gandhi in Champaran’, brought out by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, GoI, to the Lt. Governor, the Member of Parliament and the Chief Secretary.
In his address, the Member of Parliament, BishnuPada Ray lauded the sex ratio and gender equality here in the Islands. He said, A&N Islands is perhaps the only place in the country where one can witness the true essence of unity in diversity and a reflection of a real Mini India. He said, people here are hard working and nobody goes to bed empty stomach, they are dedicated and willing to embrace change for betterment. He also conveyed the blessings of the Prime Minister and his concern for the Islands and said with the initiatives of the Govt., the Islands are poised to witness development and the rays of ‘New India’ movement will also be reflected here.
A variety of cultural programmes viz. puppet show & ballet on the theme ‘BetiBachao-BetiPadhao’, songs and lion dance were presented by artistes from North Calcutta Prayasi and Dhumketu Puppet Theatre, registered troops of Regional Outreach Bureau functioning under Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Kolkata.
Earlier, the Director, Bureau of Outreach and Communication, Anurag Mishra, while welcoming the gathering outlined the various outreach programmes organized by the Bureau of Outreach and Communication under ‘BetiBachaoBetiPadhao’ scheme. He also lauded the A&N Islands for exhibiting the true essence of national integration.