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Scheme for saving and educating girls in 100 districts

Scheme for saving and educating girls

New Delhi, November 12: India will launch a mega scheme for saving and educating the girl child in 100 districts of the country that have the least child-sex ratio, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said Tuesday. The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme will be based on a strong system of incentives and media advocacy to bring about an all-round change in attitudes, Gandhi said after releasing a documentary film "After My Garden Grows", helmed by Oscar-winning director Megan Mylan.

The film is based in West Bengal and highlights the role of the Sabla programme and Anganwadis to empower the girl child. The minister said that regional consultations with district collectors for implementing the scheme have already begun with the first round having taken place recently in Chandigarh for 27 districts of the north Indian states. Remaining regional consultations are expected to be completed within this month, she added.

She said the districts will submit their multi-sectoral plans soon for which they will be given funds of up to crore each. Gandhi said states like West Bengal and Punjab have developed good models for saving and empowering the girl child. Successful models developed by other states will also be studied for adoption by states which need to improve their child-sex ratio.

The film "After My Garden Grows" is about empowering girls through education and financial independence. The minister further elaborated that the movie has touched upon extremely crucial issues like an efficient anganwadi system that forms a core part of the schemes of women and child development ministry. Director Mylan said her film is an earnest tribute to all the Indian women who have shown tremendous courage and confidence to earn respect and livelihood against all odds.

The documentary film tells the story of Monika Barman, a rural Indian teenager growing a small rooftop garden above her house that is providing food to feed her family. Barman manages to delay marriage and return to school through the innovative girls' gardening programme, thereby sowing the seeds of her own independence.


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