Bhubaneswr: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik Saturday proclaimed that women are the torch bearers of an Inclusive Odisha.
Joining the first edition of Times Power Women as chief huest, organised by Times Group in Bhubaneswar, chief minister Patnaik described how his government has steered women to play a huge role in the growth story of new Odisha- a story that is aspirational, empowering and transformational.
He said, “My Government has always held that ‘No household, no society, no state, no country has ever moved forward without empowering its women.’ At the core of our key initiatives is the effort to make girls and women financially independent and truly empowered.”
He said that the representation of women in democratic institutions is a significant area of focus for him. Women must be represented at all levels of decision making – from the grassroots panchayats to the Assemblies and Parliament, he added.
In achieving the objective to this end, he said, Odisha has reserved 50 percent seats for women in panchayats. We support the reservation of women in policy making bodies, the CM declared. In a first by any political party, Biju Janata Dal reserved one third of the seats for women in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he said.
Speaking on the government’s flagship programme Mission Shakti, he said that it’s an empowerment model that now encompasses 70 lakh women in all habitations across the state. It caters to the millions of ordinary women who aspire better lives for themselves and their families. Mission Shakti symbolises the transformation that is happening across the state – helping women emerge as decision makers and torch bearers of a new inclusive Odisha.
He also spoke on Schemes like Mamata that gives dignity to pregnant women by assuring them support at a vulnerable time, Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana that provide Rs 10 lakh coverage for women and Sudakshya that seeks to provide quality technical education to girls. He said that our land right documents are also issued in the name of women, and Odisha is the state that has highest number of girls in hostels in the country.
Expressing his views on women, he said that “Woman signifies Shakti – power in its most primordial sense. She is the storehouse of the energy that drives the universe. An energy so potent that it can transform everything it touches.
The chief minister congratulated all the winners of Times Power Women and wished them good luck in their endeavours.
Joining the event, speaker of Odisha Legislative Assembly Surjya Narayan Patro spoke on how Mission Shakti has changed the lives of millions of women. He said that women in Odisha are increasingly proving their mettle in every sphere of life.