Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said that State Government is committed to women empowerment by providing them every opportunity to progress ahead as the State had provided about Rs. 450 crore subsidy on different schemes during current financial year to help them lead reasonably comfortable life in the society. Chief Minister said it in the District Level International Women Function, organized at Tauni Devi, Hamirpur, in the series of week long celebration of International Women Day in the State today.

Chief Minister said that the State Government had envisioned and implemented a number of programmes aimed at women empowerment which included providing 50 percent reservation to women in panchayati raj elections, helping emerge self reliant through different schemes and providing them liberal financial assistance by constituting Self Help Groups under Rs. 300 crore ambitious Doodh Ganga Yojna to bring about white revolution through income generating dairy farming. He said that liberal subsidy components were available to he beneficiaries. He said that 58 percent women got elected to panchayati raj institutions in the recently concluded elections. He said that the Scheme had been of immense help to rural women in adopting animal husbandry as their income generation self- employment avocation. He said that Beti Hai Anmol scheme deposits Rs. 5100 in the name of girl child at the time of her birth which multiplies substantially by the time the girl attains maturity. He said that Matri Shakti Yojna, Mother Teresa Matri Sambal Yojna, Mata Shabri Mahila Sashaktikaran Yojna, Mukhya Mantri Kanyadan Yojna were some of the other ambitious schemes under implementation in the State. He said that the State was also motivating youth to marry young widows with a view to rehabilitate them in life and provide them financial incentive of Rs. 25,000.

Prof. Dhumal said that Atal Swasthya Sewa had proved to be a boon, especially to women in the State who were getting free ambulance service in emergency cases besides free institutional delivery and medical care of mother and child for one year post delivery. He said that precious lives of many pregnant women had been saved by the free ambulance service as safe delivery enroute to the health institutions had been carried during past one year. He said that Matri Shabri Mahila Sashaktikaran Yojna aimed at providing 50 percent subsidy on purchase of LPG connection by women of BPL families in the State and 5,100 families had been targeted for delivering benefit during current financial year. He said that on coming to power, the State Government has granted leave on specific festivals to all working women on Karva Chouth, Bhaiya Dooj and Rakha Bandan besides providing free traveling facilities in HRTC buses on Bhaiya Dooj and Raksha Bandhan.

Chief Minister said that it was common man’s government at the helm of affairs where their interests were safe and protected. He said that the State Government would make concerted efforts to provide Mahila Mandal Bhawans in a phased manner. He said that ritual celebrations of specific occasion needed to be considered as a reminder while consistent efforts were required to be made throughout the year. He said that Hindu culture had rich traditions to regulate a disciplined daily life. He said that nature had enough for everyone’s need but insufficient for greed. He said that women had always been revered in the Indian way of life.

He appealed to the women to help check female foeticide which was a grave social vice and also educate women about women uplifment oriented policies and programmes of the State Government.. He said that although legal provisions were available to deal with such cases but mass awakening would be of immense value to check the same. He said that the state had also launched pregnant woman tracking programme to take care of the prospective mother and child. He said that women had been motivating force behind all programmes which had met success. He said that 94.817 new pensions had been sanctioned during past four years and new applications received were being processed and sanctioned on priority. He said that Mukhya Mantri Vidyarthi Swasthya Sewa Yojna had been launched to medically examine students during their school days. He gave a clarion call to women folk to educate masses about the progressive policies and programmes of the State Government so that benefits could percolate down the targeted groups.

He said that no guarantee would be required to borrow loan from Kangra Central Cooperative Bank for purchase of ornaments and half percent more interest would be available to women depositors and women bank to be opened in the State. He announced Rs. 3 lakh for Mahila Vikas Samti.

Smt. Maya Rana, Vice President, State BJP, said that women had been contributing significantly towards nation building and 50 percent reservation to women in panchayati raj institutions had encouraged their participation in local developmental plans. She said that scholarships and free education to women had helped in building their self confidence.

R.S.Mankotia, Chairman, Kangra Central Cooperative Bank, said that 185 Mahila Mandals had been registered under the banner of Bamsan Mahila Vikas Samiti and detailed out women centred socio-economic upliftment activities of the State Government. He said that next birthday of Prof. Dhumal would be celebrated as ‘Mahila Mela’ at Bhota. Maya Jaswal, Chairperson, Bamsan Mahila Vikas Samiti, welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries She said that the Samiti had been instrumental in strengthening women empowerment and helping them get self reliant through different socio-economic upliftment programmes of the State Government. She urged for providing funds for Samiti Bhawan at Tauni Devi.

Urmil Thakur, Baldev Sharma, MLAs, Pyare Lal Sharma, Chairman, APMC and State President, BJP Kisan Morcha, M.C.Parmar, CMD, Ex-Servicemen Corporation, Des Raj Sharma, President, District Hamirpur BJP, Vijay Behl, Vice President, District Hamirpur BJP, Maya Sharma, President, District Hamirpur BJP Mahila Morcha, Sarla Sharma, Chairperson, Zila Parishad, Anita Chauhan,, Chairperson, Panchayat Samiti, Tauni Devi, Virender Thakur, President, BJP Mandal Sujanpur, Prithi Singh Thakur, a veteran BJP leader, Rajender Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Kuldeep Sharma, Superintendent of Police, B.T.Negi, Chief Engineer, PWD, other senior officers of various departments and prominent people of the area were present on the occasion.