Celebrating Durga Puja with a cause: Gomati District promotes ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign During Durga Puja

Celebrating Durga Puja with a cause: Gomati District promotes ‘Beti  Bachao  Beti  Padhao’ campaign  During Durga Puja

Gomati District administration with its aim of promoting ‘Beti  Bachao  Beti  Padhao’  campaign adopted a unique way during the one week celebration of Durga Puja in various sub-divisions of district. The Beti  Bachao  Beti  Padhao scheme was highlighted by most of the community Durga Puja pandals of the district by ways of organising discussion, seminar, exhibition stalls, drama, quiz and other cultural activities in which people from all sections of the society  participated. Gomati District Administration has used the well-knit network of local clubs across the length and breadth of the district to spread the message about its one of the most important programme  ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign, alongwith IEC on other issues like dowry prohibition, domestic violence, female foeticide, PCPNDT Act, women welfare, Swatchha Bharat Mission, Save environment, Noise pollution etc.  Before the commencement of Durga Puja preparatory meeting was organized in the three sub division of the district- Udaipur, Amarpur and Karbook. In the preparatory meeting from the part of District Administration all clubs and social organizations were requested to take up IEC activities on all relevant themes including ‘Beti  Bachao  Beti  Padhao’ campaign  in their  Puja Pandals.

The initative taken by the administration got huge response from the organizers; durga puja being largest festival celebrated across Tripura. All most all clubs of district have promoted the Beti  Bachao  Beti  Padhao  campaign in  one way or another, by organizing  drama on anti dowry theme, quiz, discussions, art competition, miking, rally,etc. Exibition stalls were also installed by puja pandals highliting Beti  Bachao  Beti  Padhao  , dowry, domestic  violence and women empowerment. Also awareness workshops with public representatives, women, AWWs, ASHAs were organized. A total of 323 puja were organized in the district including club and private houses. In Udaipur Municipal Council -26, other villages of Udaipur Sub Division-230, Amarpur Nagar Panchayat-19, other villages of Amarpur Sub-Divion-42, Karbook Sub –Division -6  no.s puja organized. Award giving ceremonies at sub-divisions, Municipal Council, Districts shall be organized shortly. More so, the response from public was very encouraging and thousands of people participated including children, women, teenagers, old age persons.

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme is a nationwide scheme launched purposefully to address the issue of decreasing girl child sex ratio in the society as well as empowering girl child in the country. There is a great saying that “The hand that rocks the cradle, the procreator, the mother of tomorrow; a woman shapes the destiny of civilization’. But still the irony remains that the beautiful creation ‘girl child/ woman’ is still unprotected. As per census data, in 2011, the sex ratio was 959 in Gomati district, and child sex ratio (0-6 years age) was 940. There has been a declining trend in last few decades. District administration Gomati, recognizing the importance of the BBBP scheme has taken series of efforts since its launch, with an attempt to prevent sex determination, female foeticide, ensure safety of girl child, as well as provide quality education to them with coordination and cooperation of many departments.

District Magistrate Ms Sonal  Goel, IAS  has visited many puja pandals; similarly officials from district administration, health, social welfare department, Block & sub-divisional administration have also remained present in many programmes. Also the support was received by presence of public representatives and social workers. Such kind of presence in the cultural activities of the clubs gave special encouragement to the puja organizers. Also there has been wide coverage in local cable TV channels, newspapers, social media etc.

Durga Puja is the most popular festival of Tripura in which people of all section, caste, community participate whole heartedly. Goddess Durga is the embodiment of power and strength ; a symbol of knowledge, truth and self-realization. But what is seen in our present society is that ‘girl child/ women’ are subjected to various kinds of cruelty and injustice. During the Beti  Bachao  Beti  Padhao  campaign in the puja  pandals  the stark contrast of status of Goddess Durga and women in society was brought to the notice of all. If we can worship Goddess Durga, Goddess laxmi, Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Kali, then why cannot we bestow the same respect to our women folk? This kind of unique campaign has touched the hearts of many people. This will definitely produce some positive result by sensitizing the ignorant masses. Such kind of outstanding work on the part of Gomati District Administration to popularize the Beti  Bachao  Beti  Padhao  campaign and other social themes has in fact attracted attention of the whole state.   

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