Rajya SabhaLok Sabha

March 16, 2017

Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien makes a Special Mention on the need to follow Bengal model to empower women across the country

Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien makes a Special Mention on the need to follow Bengal model to empower women across the country

FULL TRANSCRIPT

On 8th March we celebrated International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, political and cultural achievements of women. However, India still has a long way to go in ensuring that women are placed in an equal footing with men. From education to skill development, from increasing employment opportunities to ensuring safety of women, these are just some of the aspects that need to be looked into.

West Bengal has taken massive steps in working towards emancipating women. The Kanyashree scheme was introduced to arrest the drop-out rate in schools and prevent early marriage among girl students. More than 30 lakh girls have been enrolled under the scheme, which has garnered recognition worldwide, including from UNICEF. Bicycles are given to school children in rural areas through the Sabuj Sathi Scheme, and thousands of girls have benefitted so far.

More than 27,000 self-help groups have been formed over the last five years, which have over 16 lakh women members. Through the Swabalamban Scheme, training is given on a wide range of livelihood activities, e.g., zari craft, handloom weaving, beautician courses, etc

As per the latest NCRB report, Kolkata is the safest city in India in terms of crimes against women. The Kolkata Police offers martial arts training to schoolgirls, under Project Sukanya, to make them self-reliant when it comes to defending themselves.

Thus, the Central Government must take cognizance of the success story of West Bengal and use it as a model for the entire nation.