Honouring women as a beacon of change in rural India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said today they have broken so many myths, they have shown how a positive change has begun in villages. Addressing a conclave of women Sarpanchs in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, the Prime Minister said, “Today we are honouring Sarpanchs who have contributed immensely to the movement towards a clean India,” as he gave away Swachh Shakti 2017 awards.
PM Modi invoked Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion, saying he put more emphasis on cleanliness than political freedom. “2019 we will mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. He always said India lives in the villages. Gandhiji also said cleanliness is more important than political freedom. You can imagine the commitment he had towards cleanliness,” said Modi.
While addressing the audience, the Prime Minister also shed light on female foeticide and the positive role played by women Sarpanchs on the issue. “I can see the determination to make a positive difference when I meet these women Sarpanchs. They want to bring a qualitative change,” he said. “Female foeticide can’t be allowed to take place. Villages with women Sarpanchs can play key role& show the way in ending female foeticide,” added PM Modi.
The Prime Minister has on earlier occasions expressed concern over incidents of foeticide, especially in Haryana. Speaking at the state’s Golden Jubilee function last year in November, PM Modi had said in such a distinguished state, female foeticide cannot exist, even as he lauded the state government for bringing down the graph. “Haryana has undertaken an effort to ensure female foeticide doesn’t happen,” he had said, adding that the daughters of Haryana have made India proud on several occasions.