Empowerment of women is necessary for the betterment of society, said Harish Rai Dhanda,Chief Parliamentary Secretary of Punjab,while inaugurating a two-day national seminar on Empowerment of Women: Emerging Challenges at Punjab Agricultural University on Thursday.
The seminar,jointly organised by the Society for Home Scientists for Agricultural and Rural Institution (SHSARI) and College of Home Science,PAU,attracted several delegates from across the country.
Dhanda,who was the chief guest of the inaugural session,highlighted the contributions of rural women in the progress of Punjab and Haryana.
Instead of being silent spectators,women have greatly contributed to farm activities and allied activities like dairy,fishery,bee-keeping,fruit and vegetable cultivation, he said. This despite the fact that women have not been given equal opportunities,Dhanda added. By giving women an opportunity to get education and training,we will make them active partners in development, he said.
Dhanda appreciated the role of a home scientist in uplifting the status of womenfolk by providing skillful,need based and scientifically oriented education.
In her key address,Dr Krishna Srinath,director,Directorate of Research on Women in Agriculture,Bhubaneswar,said agricultural development is impossible without the full participation of a rural family,including women.
Women are the centre of the development process and improvement of their status is crucial to further the cause of growth, she said. She further emphasised that strategies for womens empowerment should ensure that women are accorded opportunities and their potential contribution is put to good use by their societies through augmentation of facilities.
Earlier,Dr Neelam Grewal,Dean,College of Home Science and convener of the seminar,welcomed the chief guest and other dignitaries.
She emphasised that empowered women not only become the agents of their own development but also enable others to exercise their choice in defining their own agenda and to change the society.
Dr S K Mann,president,SHSARI,in her introductory remarks said that women are an important segment of our society and they contribute significantly in the development process. She further said that a nations real strength lies in the number of empowered women. Home science education must focus on the empowerment and capacity building of women especially those from the rural sector. She also dwelled upon the role of SHSARI in improving the quality of life of rural families.
Dr M K Dhillon,general secretary,SHSARI,while proposing a vote of thanks pointed out that there is a continued inequality and vulnerability of women in all spheres of life which needs to be looked into. Others present on the occasion included Dr S K Bajaj,vice-chancellor,ELIM University,Sikkim; Dr Umesh Kapil,professor of Public Health and Nutrition,AIIMS,New Delhi; Dr Mary Andrews,former associate dean,MS University,USA; Anshu Gupta,Wellness Manager,Nestle India Limited,Gurgaon and Dr K K Sharma,former dean,College of Home Science,PAU Ludhiana.