“If you do not raise the women, who are the living embodiment of the Divine Mother, don't think that you have any other way to rise.”
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, I remembered these wise words of Swami Vivekananda. Women power is nothing but an incarnation of Shakti, who is the goddess of power. Once we are bestowed with her blessings our strengths will increase manifold!
On this day, let us resolve to make women equal stakeholders in the decision-making processes and economic growth of the state as well as the nation. Till this happens we cannot say that true women empowerment has been achieved! In the past many months, there have been shocking incidents that have aroused the conscience of the entire nation. On International Women’s Day, let us affirm our commitment to eradicate any form of injustice against women and ensure that what the nation saw in the last few months does not happen ever again. A civilized society, etched in liberal democratic values has no place for those who disrespect women.
Through innovative initiatives, Gujarat remains committed towards the complete empowerment of women. Be it correcting adverse gender ratio through Beti Bachao Andolan, spreading the joys of girl-child education through Kanya Kelavani initiative, strengthening Aanganwadis, improving maternal mortality rates through Chiranjeevi Yojana and E-Mamta or the Mission Mangalam initiative, we wish to ensure that our women can stand on their own feet. I am also sharing more details about the state Government’s initiatives towards women upliftment (https://www.narendramodi.in/empowering-women-empowering-society/ ).
This year we launched Mission Balam Sukham to overcome the challenge of malnutrition and we made an annual provision of Rs. 1,094 crore for over 44 lakh beneficiaries including pregnant women, nursing mothers and girl children. These initiatives and results showcase out firm commitment to make Gujarat malnutrition free, which will benefit primarily our women as well as children and I am glad that our initiatives are showing the desired results. Recently, you would have read of a report that showed Gujarat as the state that stands out as the most improved state in mitigating malnutrition among children. Various surveys have also talked about the positive track record of some cities in Gujarat and Gujarat as a state in ensuring safety for women.
At the same time, I was extremely disappointed to note that the Union Budget contained nothing substantial to tackle the menace of malnutrition. The Centre has not shown any innovation in initiating long-term reforms on the issue of malnutrition. The Prime Minister keeps expressing concern on the issue but there has been little movement on the ground. Infact, not even a proper and scientific survey has been done by the Centre on the issue, which will infinitely sharpen our battle against malnutrition. I hope the Centre addresses this issue urgently.
I pay my tributes to the power of Nari Shakti- let us walk shoulder to shoulder to further create a society where women are integral partners of our development journey!