The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), in partnership with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and Ministry of Minority Affairs, organized “Betiyan Banein Kushal”, an inter-ministerial conference on non-traditional livelihoods (NTLs) for adolescent girls on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child, here today.
Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani was the chief guest on the occasion. Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai, Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Shri Indevar Pandey, Secretary WCD, Shri Atul Kumar Tiwari Secretary MSDE, Shri Mukhmeet Singh Bhatia, Secretary, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Ms. Sujata Chaturvedi, Secretary, Department of Sports, MYAS, Chairperson NCPCR, Shri Priyank Kanoongo, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Education, representatives from States and senior officials from the Ministry of WCD were present among others at the conference.
Delivering her address, Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani Minister said that the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign was launched by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi in 2015. She emphasized on the convergence between various Ministries to work towards empowering girls with quality education and equal opportunities. She said that the country cannot progress if girls and women are not empowered. She said that the Government has always encouraged and empowered girls to pursue the vocation of their choice irrespective of gender stereotypes.
A key highlight of the programme included an interaction between Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani and a group of adolescent girls who have overcome child marriage, gender-based discrimination, and financial hardships to carve a niche for themselves in NTLs. During this interaction, the Minister said that the Ministry of WCD will also work towards counseling to girls for choosing academic streams after school and making available skill sets to those in Child Care Institutions to facilitate their financial independence and empowerment.
Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai, Minister of State for Women and Child Development said that under the stewardship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the Government has heralded a renewed age of “Nari Shakti” or Woman Power. He said that Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) has been one of the most successful programs, run by the Government.
Shri Indevar Pandey, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development said that it is our collective duty to work towards the upliftment of women in our society and contribute towards the path of inclusivity and equality. He said that Nari Shakti will take our country to new heights.
Expanding upon the MSDE’s role, Atul Kumar Tiwari, Secretary MSDE said that the ministry is working to provide a safe and gender-friendly skilling environment for young girls and promoting the enrolment of more girls for training. He also said that convergence between various Ministries will facilitate increased, equal and empowered participation of women in the workforce.
Shri Mukhmeet Singh Bhatia, Secretary, Ministry of Minority Affairs said that Ministry has undertaken skilling programs for improving employability and livelihood for the marginalized. He said educational initiatives have been taken to enhance the socio-economic status of marginalized girls/young women.
Talking about the various initiatives taken by the Department of Sports, Smt. Sujata Chaturvedi said that the Department of Sports is emphasizing increasing the participation of women in various sports disciplines.
Shri Priyank Kanoongo said that central government schemes are serving as an enabler in removing the barriers and challenges in holding educational and skill training for girls.
Smt. Archana Awasthi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Education pointed out that vocationalization of school education has been made an integral part of the Samagra Shiksha scheme which ensures universal access to school education, promotes equity through the inclusion of disadvantaged groups and weaker sections, and improves the quality of education.
The “Betiyan Banein Kushal” event was live-streamed to a nationwide audience. The event started with the introduction to Non-Traditional Livelihood Skills and steps taken by the government toward the skilling of girls. A film showcasing innovation, entrepreneurship, and STEM education. civic leadership and financial literacy was screened on the occasion. Key factors affecting Girls’ participation in NTL and Pathways to ensure long-term engagement and sustainability of girls in NTL were highlighted.
MoU was signed as a joint commitment to skilling girls by MWCD, MSDE & MoMA. It emphasizes convergence between Ministries and Departments to ensure that adolescents complete their education, build their skills and enter the workforce in a diverse set of professions, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), where girls have historically been under-represented.
Best practices on adolescent skilling were showcased and representatives from the private sector and civil society presented case studies on the sustainable inclusion of girls and women in NTLs.
The MWCD also launched the BBBP manual which lays out operational guidelines and avenues for convergence between ministries and departments and announced the setting up of a Skills management portal for BBBP on 21st-century skills focusing on the life and employability skills, entrepreneurship skills, digital literacy, and financial literacy skills.