Gangtok, March 27: (IPR) Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Government of India, Smt Maneka Gandhi chaired a review meeting of the officers of Social Justice Empowerment & Welfare Department and field functionaries of all the Women and Child Care Institutions in the State here at Manan Kendra today.
The meeting had the presence of Minister for Social Justice Smt Tulshi Devi Rai, Chairpersons of various Commissions and Boards, Advisors,
Mayor and Deputy Mayor GMC, officers of the Department, Anganwadi Workers, representatives from NGOs, and students.
The meeting was aimed at discussing the centre and the state’s shared vision and strategy around the promotion of improved gender equality
across various sectors in Sikkim and focusing on ways to improve the resources for women and child care and protection.
Addressing the gathering, the Union Minister lauded the initiatives taken by Sikkim in the field of women and child development. She assured full assistance from the Ministry to strengthen the resources wherever the need arises.
Smt Gandhi commended Sikkim’s achievements in terms of removing gender disparity and particularly lauded the ‘Unmarried Women’s Pension Scheme’ initiated by the state of Sikkim. She said that she would adopt a similar model at the Centre.
Outlining the central government’s commitment to forging an inclusive society by advancing
gender equality and women’s empowerment, Smt Gandhi elucidated the achievements made by the central government in bridging the gender gap
in various sectors and the society at large. She said that the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign has so far been the most successful initiative of the government and the centre.
The Union Minister emphasized that it is not enough to merely rescue women from all forms of trafficking and stressed that they have to be
rehabilitated and trained to embrace entrepreneurship for a sustainable livelihood.
Smt Gandhi also talked at length about the proposed Anti-Trafficking Bill saying that the proposed law will change the entire dialogue
around trafficking as it seeks to penalise the perpetrators and not the victims as has been under prevailing laws.
Furthermore, the Union Minister assured the Government of Sikkim that all pending payments towards funds allocated for the implementation of welfare schemes in Sikkim will be released within a week. Union Minister also said the centre would extend all possible support in setting up of
another Working Women’s Hostel in the state.
The Minister also shared some of her personal interventions in the field of women and child development, care and protection namely Child
Line, and She-Box etc. and urged the gathering to be aware and informed about such interventions. She specifically raised concern about the One Stop Crisis Centre at Lumsey which has seen only 59 reported cases in the last one year. She urged every individual to help spread awareness about this unique Centre so that more women in
distress can come forward to avail the services available under one roof.
Smt Gandhi also initiated interaction with the audience and provided answers to their queries.
Earlier, Secretary Social Justice, Empowerment and Welfare Department Ms Sarala Rai in her welcome address highlighted some of the key
initiatives of the State Government in the field of women and child development, care and support.