Muktsar: Worried at prevalence of drug addiction among the younger generation in Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s home district, the education authorities are pushing for boys’ education by rephrasing PM Narendra Modi’s slogan “Beti Bachao, Beta Padhao” as “Beti Bachao, Beta Padhao” (save girls, educate boys).
Muktsar’s Deputy District Education Officer (DEO) Jaspal Monga says there is a need to educate boys since their chances of taking to drugs increase if they neglect studies.
“This doesn’t mean girls do not need education. Education is important for all. By changing the slogan, we are not only showing our concern towards the fairer sex, but also boys,” he says.
“The need is to save girls at birth and focus on educating boys. Boys need more attention than girls when it comes to education. There is already awareness among parents about educating girls,” he says. The education authorities have started promoting the idea at school seminars.
“If we don’t educate boys, they will struggle to manage their family affairs. There is a rise in matrimonial disputes as well. It is better that the slogan be changed to ‘Beti Bachao, Beta Padhao’. I shared this idea with some educationists who liked it,” says Monga.
“We support the idea of changing the slogan. This has been debated at seminars. There is a need to shift our focus to educating boys now since drugs pose a serious threat,” says Prof Gopal Singh Makkar, former principal, Government College, Muktsar, and honorary secretary, District Red Cross Society.
The DEO also wants making dope test mandatory before wedding. “It can save the young generation from drugs,” says Monga.
Some officials in the district education office here have supported the idea, saying it will have a positive impact on the society. As per the 2011 census, Muktsar has a female literacy rate of 59.24 per cent against male’s 71.76 per cent. The rate was 50.3 per cent and 65.4 per cent, respectively, in 2001. The average literacy rate in the district stood at 65.81 per cent in 2011. It was 58.2 per cent in 2001. Punjab has been grappling with the problem of drugs and has blamed neighbouring Rajasthan and Haryana for the menace.
Top police officers of three states have held joint meetings in the past to keep tabs on drug smuggling. The sale of poppy husk through legalised vends in Rajasthan has compounded the problem. These vends are frequented by people belonging to Muktsar or Fazilka.