- The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that we need to extend reservations for women in Parliament and Assemblies on the lines of Panchayats. He was addressing the function ‘Building a New India’ being organized by the FICCI Ladies Organization, in Hyderabad.
Following is the text of Vice President’s address: (only takeouts)
- India today is on the threshold of transforming into a major economic power. For quickening this process of transformation, all Indians will have to work with renewed passion and commitment towards building the New India and the India of the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay and several other freedom fighters.
- As the Father of the Nation famously said: “Be the change you wish to see”—to start with let everyone work at his/ her own individual level—be it a housewife, a budding entrepreneur or an employee must actively fight against social evils like gender discrimination, atrocities on women, infanticide, malnourishment, corruption, casteism, communalism and illiteracy. Terrorism is the biggest threat to India’s unity and integrity.
- For this to happen and the envisioned New India to take shape, all sections, particularly youth and women, who constitute almost half the country’s population will have to be in the forefront.
- The New India will be fully literate, free of corruption with shelter to every family, provide power on demand, best healthcare, meet the employment aspirations of the youth, empower women, double farmers’ income and convert India into an economic powerhouse with IT, Agriculture and Industrial sectors contributing significantly to its economic growth.
- Of course, politicians and political parties need to be exemplary in their conduct.
- From times immemorial and in our scriptures women have been accorded positions of power and leadership. Our ethos and values always respected women and it is unfortunate that abhorrent tendencies of atrocities are taking place in modern times. It needs no reiteration that the most stringent action has to be taken against perpetrators of atrocities on women. Here I would like to recall what Swami Vivekananda had said: “The best thermometer to the progress of nation is its treatment of women”.
- Our scriptures have said “Yatra Naryastu Pujyante, Ramanta Tatra Devata”, meaning where women are respected, Gods will dwell there.
- While women achieved tremendous success in different fields from space to sports, political empowerment is the most critical aspect in the overall empowerment of women. I hope that more and more women would be seen in various bodies—from panchayats to Parliament in the years ahead.
- It is also necessary to remove all hurdles that come in the way of socio-economic empowerment of women. We need to extend reservations for women in Parliament and Assemblies on the lines of Panchayats.
- Needless to say that education forms the foundation for empowering girls and women.
- As had been most aptly said educating a woman means educating an entire family. Ending gender disparity, ensuring safety, healthcare, imparting job skills, creating more job opportunities and ensuring safe work places are all aimed at empowering women.
- On the advantages of educating women, a UN report based on data from 219 countries, said that for every one additional year of education for women in reproductive age, child mortality is reduced by a huge 9.50 per cent.
- The Government has launched various schemes, including ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ which seeks to reverse the trend of decline in Child Sex Ratio.