Women and children constitute around 70% of India’s people and are the critical foundation for national development. They find pride of place in PM Modi’s Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign. Few people realize that ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ was the fourth initiative of the Union Government after Jan Dhan Yojna, Swacch Bharat Abhiyan and Make in India campaign.

SAAMNE AA, A BETI BACHAO BETI PADHAO INITIATIVE, LAUNCHED
Let us not be vague about gender: Saamne Aa
Mumbai
August 11, 2017
Women and children constitute around 70% of India’s people and are the critical foundation
for national development. They find pride of place in PM Modi’s Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
campaign. Few people realize that ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ was the fourth initiative of the
Union Government after Jan Dhan Yojna, Swacch Bharat Abhiyan and Make in India
campaign.
India’s steeply dwindling child sex ratio among children under 6 years of age which reached
an all-time low of 918 girls for every 1000 boys in 2011 from 976 in 1961 (RGI data)- a 6%
decline in 40 years- is unhealthy.
In an initiative to continue the good work of the campaign, the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao
project unit has launched Reeta Gupta’s “Saamne Aa”, a song that speaks against son
preference.

The song is sung by Sona Mohapatra and has special performances by Paresh Rawal and
Swaroop Sampat. Composed by Siddharth Sharma, the song launched on 2nd August on
Times Music and has already grossed more than half a million views.
Ace singer Sona Mohapatra says, “Saamne Aa" has a simple tune. I have kept my rendition
of it simple so that the essence and meaning of the song emerge. I agreed to be part of this
project because I am in line with its vision- to have a society where gender equality is the
norm, not the exception.”

Link here

Speaking about Saamne Aa, Paresh Rawal, who is in Parliament session in Delhi, said, "This
Government is trying to bring about a transformational shift in the way our society looks at
the girl child. PM Modi's Beti Bachao Beti Padhao is one of the finest initiatives towards
that.”
K Moses Chalai, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Women and Child adds, “ We are
happy to support Reeta Gupta’s  Saamne Aa Initiative, as it addresses the problems of both
conscious and  unconscious social bias against the girl child.”
The Dy. Commissioner WCD, Rahul More presented the song to the audience at the World
Trade Centre, a partner to Saamne Aa.
“Saamne Aa" is an overwhelming ode to the daughters of India and Times Music is honored
to be associated with one of India’s most integral campaigns, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao,” said
Mandar Thakur COO of Times Music.
Saamne Aa is supported by Podar World School, Laadli, a population First NGO and the
MCGM.
PS Keskar, the Executive Health Officer of the MCGM added, “ Our message is simple.
Beta Beti Ek Saman, toh khushhaal hoga Hindustan.”
Saamne Aa creator Reeta Gupta explains, “we must not be vague about the issue of gender.
We must have specific action points, such as
1. Celebrate the birth of the girl child in the family
2. Raise our sons and daughters as equals.
3. Encourage varied professions for our girls.
4. Educate those who are indulging in son preference; that a daughter is every bit as capable.
5. Don't use words like para ya dhan and bojh while referring to girls.
6.Report any incidence of sex determination test.
7. Encourage boys to help you with the household chores and serve guests.
8. Keep weddings simple. Share wedding expenses equally between the girl's and boy's
families
9. Provide safe environments, around us where sexist behavior is discouraged.
10. Write your will, divide your property equally between your son and your daughter.”

Swaroop Rawal, who, along with husband Paresh Rawal has put in a special appearance in
Saamne Aa, says, “ As a mother, an educator, and an actor I believe that  Gender equality is
essential to democracy and inextricably tied up with it.  ‘Son selection’ is a very major bias
and impedes gender equality in India where freedom is often misunderstood and misused. I
would like the birth of every girl child to be celebrated, just like my family celebrated my
birth. And just like I follow my dreams I wish that each girl can pursue hers.”

Rupa Naik , Executive Director, World Trade Centre also spoke on the occasion, and
shared, “I have always believed that investing in a girl’s education is investing in a nation’s
growth and development. Beti ko apnao, apni soch ko jagao aur desh mein unnati lao.”
Prof A L Sharada of Laadli said, “In our work at Laadli, we emphasize that society must
take specific actions to promote gender equality. The song Saamne Aa is a step towards that-
children, by themselves are innocent and play with each other without thinking of gender at
all. But as they grow up, the unconscious biases that the elders  have, begin to shape their
minds.”

Raghav Podar, Chairman Podar World School noted, “ We have always been sensitive to
the subconscious biases that pervade our society, that express themselves inadvertently. We
have consciously made an effort to emphasise the importance of gender parity."
If we can do this, we can each become agents of change.  Two beneficiaries were a part of the
launch. Their admission fees were funded by donor Dheeraj Gupta, Founder and MD of
Jumboking.
Beneficiary 1
Monika Lalji Parmar, born on 6th of October 1999 is an X-ray technician. A bright student,
she passed out of H.S.C. Examination in the academic year 2016-17 with 93.07%. She lost
her mother recently-her mother worked multiple shifts as a maid to educate her. Monica
wants to now do her Radiology course now and her father has no fixed income.

Beneficiary 2
Mane Sonalee Bharat, a  student

Rajendra Ganotra is the Editor of Spicy Stars Mumbai

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