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‘Fast-track courts started across West Bengal’: To counter BJP, govt talks of its success in empowering women

“[Chief Minister] Mamata Banerjee is the first political leader in Bengal who spoke about women’s empowerment. She not only said but also started different projects to empower the women of Bengal,” state women development minister Shashi Panja told reporters at a press conference.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Updated: November 18, 2020 9:30:21 am
Rs 9,369 crore spenton Kanyashree scheme till date: Shashi Panja (File photo)

To counter the BJP’s claims that women in the state do not feel safe and not much was being done for them, state women development minister Shashi Panja on Tuesday highlighted the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government’s achievements in empowering women since it came to power in 2011.

“[Chief Minister] Mamata Banerjee is the first political leader in Bengal who spoke about women’s empowerment. She not only said but also started different projects to empower the women of Bengal,” Panja told reporters at a press conference.

The minister claimed that while crimes against women were increasing in other states, the Mamata Banerjee government was always working to empower women. “If we start to give details of government projects helping women and girl children, then we will not be able to complete this press conference in a day,” she added.

Panja said, “The chief minister has always given women the respect they deserve. The government issued cards in the name of the oldest woman in a family as part of the Swasthya Sathi project. Last year, we started the Rupasree project for the women of Bengal to assist them during their marriage. Already in one year, 5.58 lakh women have taken this help under the Rupasree project. Under the Mamata Banerjee government, institutional birth became the highest.”

Talking about the government’s efforts to keep women safe, the minister said, “After 2011, we built 48 women police stations across the state. Before 2011, there were no police stations for women in the state.” She claimed that Mamata Banerjee started fast-track courts across the state to hear cases of atrocities and crimes against women.

Panja recalled that the government’s most talked-about project was Kanyashree. She said so far the Rs 9,369 crore had been spent to fund the scheme.

TMC sources pointed out that Banerjee was the most vocal against the BJP following the murder and alleged gangrape of a Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district in September. Now, by publicising its success in empowering women, the government was trying to secure the vote of women, she added.

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