When Manohar Lal Khattar took over the reins of Haryana, the state had the dubious record of having one of the highest rates of female foeticide in the country. While Khattar might not be as erudite as Tharoor, but he certainly has worked more for the cause of women empowerment than most of the other heads of state when you consider the fact that Haryana has seen a 52-point increase in sex ratio at birth over the last five years.
According to the latest figures available, the sex ratio in the state has increased to 923 girls for every 1000 boys in 2019 from 871 girls in 2014. Interestingly, the increase is higher than the target set by the Centre under the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme.
Haryana during the 10-year-rule of Hooda was famous for the shoddy land deals and dwindling sex ratio thanks to the state being at the mercy of the Khap. Khattar has calmly gone ahead and solved Haryana’s most pressing issue. According to the data, of the total 5, 18,725 births registered in the state during 2019, female births totalled 2,48,950 while 2,69,775 babies born were male. “Majority of districts that had a low sex ratio of below 900 for decades, are now placed better with the sex ratio of 920 and more. Two districts namely Panchkula and Ambala have attained the distinction of being 950+ (963,959 respectively), an ideal sex ratio at birth as per public health experts,” Rakesh Gupta, nodal officer ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ program, said. “Around 25,000 girls were saved from being killed during last 5 years through ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ scheme campaign launched against female foeticide. This improvement in the sex ratio at birth is not limited only to certain districts, as the ratio has been increased overall throughout the State,” he added. It was in January 2015 that Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the nationwide campaign from Panipat. Gupta added that in 5 years, more than 730 FIRs were registered, including 185 in UP, Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand and around 2,000 people were arrested in the crackdown against female foeticide.
The move by the Khattar government to incentivise providing information about the sex determination in any part of State has worked wonders as the state has provided a reward of ₹1 lakh to the informer providing information about the sex determination in any part of State, which has helped in exposing the gangs of criminals involved in this crime.
In a welcome move, Khattar earlier this month announced that the percentage of women in the Haryana Police will be increased by 15 per cent in the next five years. Khattar also claimed that in the past five years the percentage of women workforce in the police has increased from 6% to 10% and will reach 15% by 2025. He further added that 4 women police stations have been opened in Haryana pointing out that earlier due to the lack of dedicated women police stations, the victims did not have the courage to report the crime against them but now with these police stations, the victims are coming forward to report every crime.
Sharing the details about the list of the State Government’s initiatives taken for ensuring women safety and empowerment, the Chief Minister said that 31 new colleges have been opened, special buses are being run of more than 150 routes for women studying in colleges and Universities. Apart from this, special skill development and training programs are being run to provide ample employment opportunities for women and for this, an MoU has also been signed with UNO. To make Haryana a safe and secure place for women, Durga Shakti App, Woman helpline, Women Help Desk at Police Stations have become operational, he said.
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar has silently worked for the cause of women empowerment and no matter what the opposition says, Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign has indeed worked. Khattar may not be as erudite as Tharoor or a pretender as Arvind Kejriwal, but he is perhaps the only leader who has relentlessly worked for the cause of women empowerment.