CHANDIGARH, MARCH 8
UPA Chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi today said that a new law would soon be enacted to fight crime against women in the country. She also gave a clarion call to the people to eradicate the stigma of female foeticide and crime against women like rape and molestation from our society and added that there was a need to change the mindset of the people about women.
Mrs. Sonia Gandhi was addressing the first convocation of Bhagat Phool Singh Mahila Vishvavidhalya, Khanpur Kalan in district Sonepat today, on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
Earlier, she dedicated to the people India’s first post independence Bhagat Phool Singh Government Women Medical College in the campus of the university. The only Government Women Medical College, the Lady Hardinge Medical College, was set up in 1914. Haryana Governor Mr. Jagannath Pahadia, Chief Minister, Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda, AICC General Secretary Mr. B.K. Hariparsad, a number of Ministers of Haryana government and many MPs were also present on this occasion.
She said that female foeticide and crimes like rape are happening in the country, which make our head hang in shame. She also mentioned a number of steps taken by the UPA government for women empowerment and uplift their socio-economic status. She said that Rs.1000 crore each have been provided in the Budget for next year for setting up of a Women Bank and Nirbhaya Fund.
While lauding the steps taken by Haryana Government for welfare and progress of the women, Mrs. Gandhi said, “I will like to congratulate Haryana Government working under the leadership of Chief Minister Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda, which has made special efforts for the women empowerment in the fields of education, health and social justice, which has played important role in highlighting the talents of Haryana women in the fields of education and sports”. Haryana’s girls are talented, capable and courageous, these efforts would bring some good results in the future, she added.
Although she appreciated the progress made by Haryana in various fields of development, she also expressed her concern about decline in population of girls adding that it was due to poor thinking and this problem was being felt in the entire country. She said that concerted efforts would have to be made to check this problem. Therefore, it was a high time to raise voice against it.
Mr Gandhi said that the passage of education and success are never easy, but the students must not succumb to any hindrance because the nation needs them. She said that they are lucky for having got opportunity to get education here. She hoped that they would also teach those who could not get opportunity to get education.
While referring to the Bhagat Phool Singh Women University, she said that this Gurukul was started in 1936 with merely three students but today, in last six years, it has emerged as a magnificent complex. Journeys of thousands of miles begin with small steps. Most of its students hail from rural areas and it would certainly set an example for social revolution and change, she added.
Haryana Governor, Mr. Jagannath Pahadia, who is also chancellor of the University, praised the setting up of Rs.1000 crore Nirbhaya Fund and all woman bank by the Central Government. He also appreciated the steps taken by the State government to raise the status of the women.
While referring to a number of initiatives taken by the state government for women empowerment, Haryana Chief Minister Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that these included schemes like Priyadarshini Awaas Yojna under which 3.5 lakh houses would be constructed in rural and urban areas for the poor people. The ownership would be of woman in the family. Parents of only girl child or children were being given monthly pension from the age of 45 years. Financial assistance of Rs.31000 and Rs.11000 is also being given on the marriage of girls belonging to Scheduled Castes living below the poverty line and daughters of widows living below the poverty line.
Mr Hooda said that in higher education, the percentage of girls was about 57 per cent in the year 2011-12 as compared to the year 2010-11.
Mr. Hooda described Mrs. Gandhi as a symbol of women empowerment under whose guidance the state government was working for the welfare of all sections of the society.
Mrs. Gandhi presented gold medals to the outstanding students. As many as 2436 students were awarded degrees in the convocation. Earlier, she went around the Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College and Hospital and also interacted with the patients to know their well being. She was also shown a documentary on the progress and contribution of the medical college and hospital. She also appreciated the available medical facilities in the medical college and hospital.Haryana Vidhan Sabha Speaker Mr. Kuldeep Sharma, Haryana Congress President Mr. Phool Chand Mullana, MPs Mr. Deepender Singh Hooda, Dr. Ashok Tanwar, Mr. Jitender Malik, Education Minister Mrs. Geeta Bhukkal, Health Minister Rao Narender Singh, Cooperation Minister Mr. Satpal Sangwan, Agriculture Minister Mr. Paramvir Singh, Chief Parliamentary Secretaries, Rao Dan Singh, Mr. Ram Kishan Fouji, Mr. Jaiveer Singh, MLAs Mr. Venod Sharma, Jagbir Malik, Naresh Sharma, Mr. Rajinder Singh Joon, Mr. O.P. Jain, Mr. Zile Ram Sharma, Vice-Chancellor of university Dr. Pankaj Mittal, Director of Medical College for Women Dr. R.C. Siwach, Registrar Mrs. Asha Kadian, faculty members of university and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.