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NEW DELHI: The Centre has taken several steps to create a vibrant ecosystem where women can flourish and harness their full potential, said Union minister of state for Health and Family Welfare Bharti Pravin Pawar on Tuesday.

Addressing the ‘Women leading Change in Health and Science in India’ conference, the minister said that the government is dedicated towards making women capable in every field.

Pawar said that post-independence, attention was not given on this aspect of India’s growth story. “Under PM Modi, several steps have been taken. Flagship schemes like ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, Ujjwala Yojana for free cooking fuel, initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan, financial inclusion through PM Jan Dhan Yojana, MUDRA scheme for entrepreneurial ambitions, permanent commission in our defence services are some of the notable interventions for not just the welfare for women but also empowering them."

“Seeds of gender equality have been sown in our country through various steps; it will reap benefit for our society on the whole. As a consequence, women empowerment will lead to an equitable, inclusive and diverse growth story of India."

The minister said the youth must take inspiration from personalities like Anandibai Joshi, Kadambini Ganguly, Kalpana Chawla etc., who despite odds achieved stupendous feats in their fields. “We must celebrate their impact and strive to do more in several ways."

Pawar said that significance of the women’s crucial role in progress especially in health sector can be adjudged from the fact that one million ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers, who remained at the forefront of healthcare service delivery in India especially as first line of defence in the crucial period of COVID-19, received the Global Health Leaders Award-2022 in the backdrop of 75th World Health Assembly.

She added that for bringing women workforce on a par with men workers, more women centric initiatives are the need of the hour for holistic development.

Union Minister of state for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh said that women are taking their well-deserved place in the society. “We must do away with the past hangover of gender specified roles."

Singh added that in the spirit of AKAM, government schemes must not be seen from a welfare perspective but also as a platform that can strengthen their resolve. “Women remain crucial part of our human resources of the country and if efficiently harnessed they can contribute immensely towards the development of our country."

Guest of honour Melinda French Gates said, “The Indian government has been pushing forward from bottom up to build a gender equal country. I am hopeful that the Gates Foundation and Government of India would work in coordination to achieve shared goals and improve the aspect of gender equality in the country even further."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Swati Luthra

Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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