Speaker Om Birla on Thursday drew praise from Lok Sabha members for identifying potential of members and encouraging them to speak on the floor of the House after a first-time woman MP, known for spearheading self-help groups, raised the issue of women unemployment.
BJD MP Pramila Bisoyi (73), who speaks only her mother tongue Odia, raised the issue of women employment following the COVID-19 outbreak.
She said many women who lost employment were unable to get jobs back and were confined to working at their homes or farms while men have been reemployed.
She spoke in Odia and her party colleague Bhartruhari Mahtab shared the crux of the matter she raised during the Zero Hour.
Asked about her educational qualification, Mahtab said it is not much but noted that she is spearheading many self-helf groups. The Lok Sabha website says the Aska MP has studied till primary classes.
This is India’s democracy, Birla said, noting that he personally urged her to speak in the House. She told him that she only speaks Odia, he said, adding that her secretariat then helped her.
“Now she makes request for speaking in the House regularly. This is India’s democracy,” the Speaker said, noting she has given employment to a large number of women.
Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal rose to praise the Chair for identifying her potential. Many other members also thumped their desks to laud it.
Birla on Thursday also allowed all woman members who wanted to speak during the Zero Hour to raise their issues.
“There is a matter of 33 per cent reservation (for women). Therefore today is an opportunity for woman members to speak,” he said light-heartedly.
Earlier, DMK member Kanimozhi raised the issue of reservation for women in Parliament, noting that the issue has been discussed for long but in vain so far.
Birla has taken measures to ensure that maximum MPs raise their issues in every session. His office said 402 members have so far spoken during the six spells of Zero Hour during the ongoing Winter session. Lok Sabha has the strength of 543 members.