Gandhi Jayanti to focus on violence against women

      The United Nations has declared October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, as the International Day of Non-violence to honour a lifetime devoted to the pursuit of non-violence. On this occasion, this year, the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development is launching a nationwide campaign for prevention of violence against women to create greater awareness about the issue. Addressing the media on the eve of launch of the campaign in the national capital, Krishna Tirath, Union Minister of Women and Child Development said that women empowerment and welfare was a high priority for the Government. "Though women constitute more that 48 per cent of the population and are acknowledged as the very foundation for the development of the society and the country as a whole, the issue concerning them, and more importantly, the abuse of their rights, remains often neglected. In fact, the incidence of violence against women within the home and outside is quite alarming," Tirath said. The Ministry has taken many important steps to protect the rights of women and ensure their welfare, development and empowerment. "Schemes such as Swadhar and Short Stay Homes and Ujjwala provide relief and rehabilitation to women in distress. However, there is a need to bring to center stage the issue of promoting non-violence and preventing all forms of abuse and violence against women in our society through mass awareness programmes," Tirath said. "The Government efforts will yield desired result only when all sections of society come forward to contribute and support these efforts," Tirath added. The Minister further said that to mark the occasion, the ministry is holding a meet of more than 5000 women at the India Gate Lawns on October 2. These women will be Aaganwadi Workers as well as Self-help Groups and representatives of various walks of life. The participants at the meet will form a human chain to express solidarity for the cause of non-violence and upholding the rights of women. The meet will be attended by many dignitaries including member of Planning Commission Syeda Hameed, Lt.Governor of Delhi Tejendra Khanna and many eminent women who are dedicated to the cause of empowerment of women and heads of some of the prominent National Organizations working for women. Tirath also said that during the campaign a number of activities will be carried out to create mass awareness about the issue at the grass root level besides strengthening and launching new schemes for the empowerment of women and welfare of children.

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