NEW DELHI --
President Pranab Mukherjee presented Nari Shakti Puruskars for the year 2015 at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said we must remind ourselves most emphatically and as often as we can, that every member of our society male or female has, equally,
the right to live in security, peace and dignity.
It is intolerable that in this day and age, women are still being exposed to barbaric brutality and violence because they are women.
Violence or fear of violence reduces the freedom and development of everyone, particularly our women and children. But more than that, it diminishes our society when it allows such inhuman treatment of its women rather than guarantee their safety, security and equal rights. On this day, let us all, Government, civil society and public at large, pledge to work together for developing relevant legal, administrative and other measures to ensure the safety and security of our mothers and sisters.
The President said the minds of our women should be empowered. The mind sets of our people must evolve. They must realise that it is in society’s own interest to create the conditions for their women to freely exercise choices at home and in the workplace without restrictions or fear. Gender equality is a key driver for inclusive economic growth and social progression. A greater focus on women’s access to resources and control over these resources and more emphasis on improving the health and nutrition of girls and women is a vital necessity. Improving women’s health raises productivity within families and communities and sets the standards for future generations.
The President said community programmes for efficient implementation of Government policy have proven to be among the best instruments for the broadest outreach. He was glad to know that the Ministry of Women and Child Development has conceived a Village Convergence and Facilitation Services programme at Gram Panchayat level. He expressed confidence that the BetiBachaoBetiPadhao programme will be successful in addressing malnutrition, maternal mortality and bridging gaps to improve the status of women in our society.
The President said the best practices for the development of women - that have worked well at the grassroots in States and Union Territories should be adopted and up-scaled in Government of India schemes. The key - and urgent - priority is to develop a comprehensive approach to the holistic empowerment of women. An effective convergence of all elements – social, economic or political – could serve to facilitate this. Quoting Swami Vivekananda, the President said, “The best thermometer to the progress of a nation is its treatment of its women”,and“All nations have attained greatness by paying proper respect to women. That country and that nation which do not respect women have never become great, nor ever will be in future.”