President calls for achieving women empowerment in all arenas

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Patna, Feb 16 (UNI) President Pratibha DeviSingh Patil today emphasised the need to change the general 'attitude towards women and girl child' in the country saying 'total women empowerment' can only be achieved if social injustices are abolished forthwith.

Inaugurating the country's first ''Mukhyamantri Kanya Vivaha Yojana'' aiming to provide financial support to marriageable girls of poor families in Bihar,India's first woman President said, ''Child marriage is one of the biggest injustices committed against a girl child.

''A young child who is still at the initial stage of life and yet to understand the world around, is unfortunately pushed into a matrimonial alliance. As such it not only adversly affects the child but she also experiences numerous other fallouts,'' she noted.

Referring to the importance of achieving empowerment of women as well as that of the girl child, President Patil said, ''The pillars of such empowerment essentially consist of literacy,education,better health facilities and nutrition for the mother and child,political representation and financial security, including opportunity for self-employment options to become self-reliant.'' She said as women were usually considered to be physically weaker individuals in society, the time had come to understand the necessity of introducing mandatory judo and karate training in all girls schools and colleges across the country.

Earlier, complimenting Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for introducing the ''Mukhyamantri Kanya Vivaha Yojana'' as the first such government sponsored scheme for women in any state,she suggested to all other state governments to follow the example.

''All state governments should implement such scheme which gives incentive for education of the girl child. This will also help in reducing the number of school dropouts and domestic violence against them,'' she said.

She also handed over cheques for Rs 5,000 each to five newly married couples from poor families.

Among others, Bihar Governor R S Gavai, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar,his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi, Dr Devi Singh Shekhawat and Bihar Social Welfare Minister Rameswar Paswan were present on the occasion.

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