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March 8, 2013

CM greets women on the occasion of International Women`s Day, recalls Govt`s pro-women initiatives

West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee extended greetings to women on the occasion of International Women`s Day.

`On International Women`s Day, I convey my heartiest greetings to all women folk in our State, country and the world. Let me convey my best wishes also to all my brothers throughout the world. I want you all to feel special being women. Remember that no country can ever prosper without having respecting the dignity of women. Great philosophers and thinkers like Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam have stressed on the need to show respect to women`, said the Chief Minister who cited examples of women from history who made their marks like Nur Jahan, Jahanara, Hosenara, Damayanti, Sita, Savitri, Matangini Hazra, and Rani Laxmibai. `We in the Trinamool believe in the philosophy of Maa, Mati, Manush with `Maa` meaning mother in the beginning and I am sure this will explains our feeling for the women`, she added.

The Chief Minister reiterated that both men women are equal and she believes that sisters without brothers are incomplete, Quoting the famous lines from Kazi Nazrul Islam, `Shamme r gahi, amar chokhey purush romoni kono bhedabhed nahi` (There is no difference between men and women in my eyes, lets sing the song unity).

Speaking on this occasion, at a special function organized to commemorate the International Women`s Day, at Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata, the Chief Minister recalled her government`s various pro-women initiatives. `I would like to tell you that the projects undertaken by us are bold and effective in nature, believe me it is not easy to work within the limited resources we have since we are cutting the brunt of paying debt made by our predecessors. Still we did not give up with our conviction to develop and provide better services, we are continuing the good work`, said the Chief Minister. Quoting the famous lines from Swami Vivekananda, `Na jagile Bharot lolona, e Bharot jagena jagena` (India will not arise unless and until the women of India awake), she inspired women and men to work for the development and build new  Bengal. `On this occasion, my appeal to my brothers is to always extend cooperation and helping hand to all our sisters`, she added.

On this occasion, the Chief Minister requested the women wing of the party to be more observant and make sure the members do more for the safety and security of women in remote areas and districts. She referred to the projects and schemes like allowing women 731 days leave in terms of maternity as well as bringing up their children, 50 percent reservation for women in Panchayat, employing 40,000 women in the Asha scheme and planning to induct 20,000 more, giving away Rs. 1,300 as compensation, all women university at Diamond Harbour in South 24 Parganas (first of its kind in eastern India) and various changes in the judiciary, `We are also going to start 65 all women police stations and 10 of them are already operational, we have employed 6,000 women police officials. Also we are going to start 45 all women courts which will have women judge and lawyers`, she added.  Apart from that special incentives are being given to girls students like bicycles to the students studying in classes 9, 10, 11 and 12.

`We have decided to introduce another Bill in the house, `Kanyashree`, this scheme I propose to include all women irrespective of caste and community`, said the Chief Minister who expressed her concern over the young girls being married off at an early age. `I am concerned about the percentage of school dropouts and getting married off at an early age. Those girls who come from poor socio economic condition will be given a scholarship of Rs. 500 per annum. `The girls studying in classes 8,9,10 and 11 and whose parent`s monthly income is Rs. 50,000 will get a scholarship of Rs. 500 per year.  The SC/ST, OBC and minority community will give the scholarships respectively and the rest will be paid by the Government`. Those student who will not marry until the age of 18 years will be given a onetime compensation of Rs. 25,000 which they can use according to their requirements.