Strongly denouncing the practice of female foeticide prevailing in the country, Union Minister Smriti Irani on Sunday stressed that people need to change their mindset towards women.
“It is an irony that we worship goddess Maa Durga for nine days during Navratri, but the evil of female foeticide is still being practised in our country. We have to make a resolution to stop it…Today I prayed to goddess that I want to see an India where female foeticide would be a history,” the HRD Minister said yesterday.
She was speaking at the ‘Mahila Sashaktikaran Utsav’ (woman empowerment festival) held at Balbeer Juneja Indoor Stadium here on Sunday evening to mark International Women’s Day to honour the women who have made exemplary contribution in their respective field.
“I am waiting for the day when we would not see the incidents of exploitation or molestation of women in our country. For this we have to spread awareness in the society,” she said.
Referring to the Centre’s ‘beti bachao, beti padhao’ programme, Irani appealed the members of the society to contribute towards the objective.
On the literacy ratio, she said, “Today 80 per cent males are literate while female literacy is only 64 per cent. To empower women we have to literate 100 per cent women of the country.”
She lauded various schemes launched by Chhattisgarh government to educate girls and empower women, especially the free education for girls in government institutions right from the class I till the graduation.
BJP MLA Sarojani Banjare, Padma Shri awardee social activist Shamshad Begum and Padma Shri awardee Pandwani folk artist Ritu Verma were among 40 women who were felicitated on the occasion.
Chief Minister Raman Singh, Tribal Development Minister Kedar Kashyap, Women and Child Development Minister Ramshila Sahu, Agriculture and Water Resources minister Brij Mohan Agarwal and Secretary, School Education in HRD Ministry Vrinda Swarup were also present in the programme.
Earlier in the day, Irani visited the Education City in naxal-affected Dantewada district and met with students and women there.