Sonia Gandhi tells women panchayat members to overcome social hurdles

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Rae Bareli, Feb 5 (ANI): Congress President Sonia Gandhi today asked women panchayat representatives to overcome social hurdles while performing their duties.

"As women representatives face various social hurdles, it was a major challenge before them to execute their responsibilities successfully," she told a Panchayati Raj meet at Kathwara block in Rae Bareli on Saturday.

Emphasising that to strengthen the Panchayati Raj system in the country a number of amendments have been carried out in the Panchayati Raj Act by the UPA government, which empowered the local bodies chalk out basic development schemes and execute them.

Pointing out that 50 percent of the panchayat seats have been reserved for women, she said, "You have an important role to play in the development of a village and now this can be done as per the expectations of local residents."

On Friday, expressing concern over the high school dropout rate among children, she said the government is committed to ensure that not a single child is deprived of education due to lack of money.

Addressing a function after laying the foundation stone of a sports complex at Jawaharlal Navodaya school in Maharajganj, Sonia Gandhi said: "Despite government giving scholarships and free coaching facility, percentage of children dropping out of schools, specially those coming from weaker section and minorities in still high."

Gandhi further called upon the political workers, NGOs and public representatives to publicise the schemes initiated by the government so that those who are deprived due to lack of information could be benefited.

"Besides primary education, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government has taken important steps to promote secondary education. It has been decided to set up a model school in each block across the country and in Uttar Pradesh, 148 schools have been sanctioned," she added.

Sonia Gandhi further said the Right to Education Act has been implemented to ensure free and compulsory education to all children in the age group of 6 to 14 years.

"To successfully implement the RTE a provision of Rs 2.25 lakh crore fund has been made and full cooperation is being given to the states. As compared to last year, 75 per cent more fund has been allocated to UP and Rs 7,000 crore has been sanctioned," said Gandhi.

"Rajiv Gandhiji, who created the vision of 21 century India, was not only concerned about the all round development of the country, but also considered ensuring education to backward and poor as his prime responsibility," she added. (ANI)

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