President Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday lauded the invaluable contribution of women in development of the country and asked people to reaffirm their commitment towards gender equality.
“Warm greetings & best wishes to women in India & in all parts of the world on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Generations of Indian women have made an invaluable contribution to the development and progress of our country,” Mukherjee said on twitter.
The President said: “On this day, I call upon people of India to reaffirm their commitment to gender equality & true empowerment of women”.
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In his message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also appreciated indomitable spirit, determination and dedication of Nari Shakti (Women Power). Modi said the central government’s various initiatives seek to facilitate economic-empowerment and social equality as far as women are concerned.
“Government of India’s various initiatives seek to facilitate economic empowerment, self-reliance & social equality as far as Nari Shakti is concerned.
“Saluting the indomitable spirit, determination and dedication of Nari Shakti on International Women’s Day,” the Prime Minister said on the micro-blogging site.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the progress of humanity is “incomplete without the empowerment of women” and the issue is no longer women development but “women-led development.”
He cited various initiatives taken by the Union government to support women and made an appeal to people to consider gifting such schemes to women instead of gifting presents on festive occasions.
“The government is also working towards safety and security by exploring the provision of a panic button and smart phones that can come to the aid of women along with facilities like GPS,” Modi said in a message posted on his website.
The Prime Minister said the Centre has decided that maternity benefits must reach every single mother and as per the scheme, every mother of a new-born will get a cash aid of Rs 6,000.
“This is aimed at reducing malnourishment among mothers so that health outcomes for upcoming generations can also be impacted positively. Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan also ensures free health check-ups which provide great convenience to pregnant women,” he said.
The 9th of every month has been fixed for this free health check-up for pregnant women.
“The government is working towards ensuring employment opportunities, creating a conducive atmosphere for them at workplaces, ensuring motherhood and career prospects do not hamper each other and enabling more valuable contributions from women to the world at large,” he said.
Modi said it is important to understand that “when it comes to multi task activities, nobody can beat women. Such is the strength and we must be very proud of it”.
Talking about ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign, he said there is a marked improvement in sex ratio not only in states like Haryana, but also at the overall national level.
“Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao is moving forward with rapid strides. This is no longer just a government programme. It has now become a campaign of public education. It has become a people’s movement,” the PM said.
The concern towards the future of our daughters led to the conception of the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana whose objective is to ensure much-needed financial security to them, he said.
“Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bandhan Yojana that was started to boost social security and life insurance has benefited women the most,” Modi said.
The primary beneficiaries of the programmes of the government have been the poor, and even among the poor it has been the women, he said. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was conceived for those poor households in which our helpless mothers and daughters have been forced to inhale harmful smoke in their kitchens, he said. Under this scheme about 1.75 crore deposit-free LPG connections have already been released against the ambitious overall target of 5 crore connections, Modi said.