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‘Himachal Mahila Award’ will honor 5 extraordinary women every year

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State government will annually honour the five women with ‘Himachal Mahila Award’ for their outstanding contributions in various fields, Virbhadra Singh today announced at a State level function on International Women’s Day

Shimla– State government will annually honour the five women with ‘Himachal Mahila Award’ for their outstanding contributions in the fields of education, health, empowerment, sports, culture and social services sectors. This was announced by Chief Minister, Shri Virbhadra Singh at a State level function on International Women’s Day, organized here, today.

Chief Minister said that celebrating this day was a special occasion to remember the outstanding achievements and contributions made by women towards the society. Hence, a decision has been taken by the State Government to honour the excelling themselves in various fields women which would also inspire others.

Shri Virbhadra Singh said that State government would establish ‘mahila ashrams’ in every district in order to provide shelter for the destitute women. Efforts would be made to open more Anganwari Centres throughout the State to facilitate the women and children. The state government was committed to fulfil all the promises made by the Congress party, especially for women in the election manifesto. He said that female literacy rate of the State was 76.60 percent and sex ratio was 974 per thousand male, which were much higher than the National average.

He said that today women were excelling in all the fields like education, sports, science and politics etc and had made their presence felt. Their economic and social conditions had improved and they were more aware of their rights and were contributing significantly in development of the society and the nation. However, it was a matter of great concern that still they were not enjoying full freedom and protection.

Expressing his concern over the recent incidents of crime against women, the Chief Minister said that such incidents were shameful and effective steps were being taken at National level and by the state governments to impose check on such incidents he sought, cooperation of the society to put an end to crime against women. He said that state government was sensitive towards women folk and sincere efforts were being made to ensure their social and economical welfare.

Chief Minister also inaugurated the exhibition put up by various departments, banks and self-help groups on the occasion. He also honoured Arjun Awardee Smt. Suman Rawat, Joint Director, Youth Services and Sports and Kumari Priyanka Negi, International Kabaddi player who had won three Gold Medals at International level. He also presented State Awards to 17 Anganwari Workers for their exemplary services under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) for the year 2011-12.

Irrigation & Public Health Minister Smt. Vidya Stokes said that women represented half of the population of the country and they were contributing in every sphere. She said that they had been given equal rights by the constitution but it was unfortunate that still they were not able to enjoy them. She said that the day was organized to aware women talk about their rights, freedom and well being.

Smt. Stokes said that Congress governments had always accorded priority for welfare of women and various schemes and programmes were being implemented to benefit them. She said that former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi pioneered the women welfare and UPA Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi too was giving special attention on women issues.

Social Justice & Empowerment Minister Shri Dhani Ram Shandil said that International Women Day was celebrated throughout the world to highlight rights of the women and issues related to them as the women had made significant contribution in the development of State and the Nation. He said that Smt. Kinkri Devi of Sirmour had raised the environment issues and Smt. Ghambri Devi of Bilaspsur had made significant contribution in promoting Pahari folk music. He said that State Government had initiated many schemes for the welfare of women. Free education upto Graduation level, Mukhaya Mantri Kanya Daan Yojna, Kishori Shakti Yojna, Balika Surkesha Yojna, Mother Teresa Matri Sambal Yojna, Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojna and Mahila Uthan Yojna were some of schemes being implemented for welfare of women.

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