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Ambassador Arun K. Singh's Remarks during the Special Event featuring First Lady of the United States Ms. Michelle Obama at the World Bank titled "Let Girls Learn!" held on April 13, 2016

First Lady of the United States Ms Michelle Obama
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

I am honored to be part of this initiative.

In India, education has been enshrined as a constitutional right.

Mindful of the importance of educating the girl child, Prime Minister of India has taken special interest and launched a “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao”- “Save the Girl Child  Educate the Girl Child” scheme in January last year. 

Our National Campaign for Secondary Education aims to make quality education for adolescent girls accessible and affordable, enhancing the enrolment by providing a secondary school within a reasonable distance,  improving the quality of education by ensuring compliance to prescribed norms and removal of gender, social-economic and disability barriers.

The goal is to achieve an enrollment  of 90% by 2017, and universal  retention by 2020.

In 5 years, enrollment of Girls has improved from 58.70 to 78.94. Gender Parity Index has increased from 0.88 to 1. And there is sharp reduction in Gender gap.
We have rolled out a national incentive scheme that gifts money to young women from disadvantaged backgrounds when they turn 18 and have passed their 10th grade exams.

Separate toilets have been built for girls in over 96% of secondary schools.

Hostels were constructed close to schools to serve girls from remote areas.

In one particular scheme,  bicycles were given to girls who completed elementary school, making it easier for them to go to schools.

More and more female teachers are being hired.

Self defense courses and awareness camps on health and sanitation issues and life skill development programmes are being conducted.

Adolescent girls are being trained in job market skills  including Information Technology, automobile, retail, security, wellness, healthcare, travel & tourism, physical education and sports, gems and jewellery designing.

I recall the words of Prime Minister Modi during his conversation with President Obama on radio in a special joint appearance  on January 27, 2015 in New Delhi:

“To save the girl child, to educate the girl child, this is our social duty, cultural duty, and humanitarian responsibility.”

Thank You.