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Uttaranchal emerging as model state in women's rights

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, July 23 (UNI) With the implementation of a series of proposals regarding uplift of women, Uttaranchal is well on its way to become a model state in safeguarding their rights.

The state, which was carved out of Uttar Pradesh five years ago, has increased up to 30 per cent reservation for women in government jobs, announced 50 per cent rebate on stamp duty for women and set up district and state level sexual harassment committees besides other steps.

''We want Uttaranchal to take a lead when it comes to uplift of women and safeguarding their rights. We will provide them every possible support to gain in confidence and stature,'' Uttaranchal State Women's Commission Chairperson Santosh Chauhan told UNI here.

She said the Commission was working with the State Government to achieve the goal.

''Uttaranchal is a new state and provisions are being made to ensure that women are not suppressed,'' she added.

Ms Chauhan said State and district level sexual harassment Committees are being set up in government and autonomous organisations on Supreme Court guidelines.

''Organisations like ONGC, IIT Rorkee and Garhwal University will have these committees to deal with any complaint of harassment at work place,'' she explained.

Celebrating 2006-07 as the ''Women's Empowerment Year'', the state Government has agreed to increase job reservation for women to 30 per cent from the existing 20 per cent.

''Women also played a major role in the creation of the state.

They deserve to be part of the system,'' she said.

''Chief Minister N D Tiwari is also of the same view hence he agreed to implement our recommendation,'' she added.

The Government has also started a recruitment drive for increasing the percentage of women to 10 per cent in the police force.

''The Commission had requested that at least one police woman be deployed in every police station of the state but the force lacked adequate numbers,'' Ms Chauhan said.

The Chairperson said the Government had also announced a one time incentive of Rs 3,000 for below poverty line families which ensured that their girls complete their education till class ten.

''Since High schools are few and far between....Girls in rural area drop out after eighth standard. Education is a must for girls to become independent,'' she added.

While working women's hostels are being constructed in Haridwar, Dehra Dun, Uddhamsingh Nagar, Nainital and Paudi, legal awareness camps are also being hosted to create awareness about women's rights.

Ms Chauhan said Lok Adalats are being set up in Garhwal and Kumaon regions to expedite cases pertaining to women.

The Commission will also submit a draft of policies for the benefit of women to the state Government soon, she added.

UNI NR SHB KN1257

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