The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu graced the Lakhpati Didi Sammelan at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan on December 23, 2023.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that she was happy to address this conference as the self-help groups are contributing significantly in making deprived and backward sections of the society, especially women, self-reliant. She stated that we have taken a pledge to make India a developed nation when our country celebrates the centenary of independence. To achieve this goal, it is very important to be self-reliant. But it will be possible only when every woman of the country is self-reliant and empowered.
The President said that women empowerment and equal participation of women in the work-force contribute significantly to social and economic progress. No country can move forward by ignoring 50 percent of its population. Important international studies and estimates highlighted that India’s GDP could increase significantly if participation of women were equal to that of men in the work-force.
The President said that the Government of India is making every possible effort to ensure that women get more economic autonomy, personal freedom and political power. Several steps have been taken to improve women’s participation in the work-force and the quality of their employment. Many protective and supportive provisions have been included in labour laws. Many government’s schemes have proved helpful in raising the standard of living of women. The government has also taken major steps towards ensuring political participation. Recently ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’ has been passed in which there is a provision to reserve one-third seats in the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies for women. But, there is still a long way to go in the journey of women empowerment. Even today, problems like priority based on gender persist in social and economic fields. Women have to struggle for ownership and property rights, due to which they have difficulty in getting credit or loans.
The President said that we have to ensure that every citizen of the country is economically and socially empowered. For this, it is necessary that the rift of gender gap be filled as soon as possible. It is everyone’s responsibility that women give impetus to economic development and implement the idea of women-led development. She expressed confidence that the Lakhpati Didi sammelan will promote women empowerment and inclusive economic development.