Women's empowerment key to securing welfare of families: PM
Chennai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asserted women's empowerment was key to securing the welfare of families and said the NDA government has initiated various schemes for their uplift in the last four years.
"When we empower women in the family, we empower the entire household.. when we help with women's education we ensure the entire family is educated," he said.
The Prime Minister was speaking after launching the subsidised two-wheeler scheme on the occasion of the 70th birth anniversary of late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
"Wherever she is, I am sure she will be very happy to see the happiness on your faces," he said as he gave away keys and registration certificates to the first five beneficiaries of the scheme. Describing it as one of Jayalalithaa's dream projects, he said he was glad to be present on the occasion.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam, among others, were present at the launch.
Amidst thunderous applause, the Prime Minister began his speech in Tamil, saying, "Tamil manilathirkum, mozhikum parambariyathirkum, ungalukkum, nan thalai vanangugiren," (I bow to you, the Tamil Nadu State, Tamil language, and heritage).
He also said in Tamil that he was proud to be in the soil of revolutionary poet Subramania Bharathy. Modi addressed the late Chief Minister as "Selvi Jayalalithaa Ji," while paying tributes to her.
The Prime Minister lauded the initiatives of the two wheeler scheme and also the 70-lakh sapling planting drive, saying they would go a long way to empower women and protecting nature. On women's welfare, Modi said that when one facilitates their good health, it keeps the entire family healthy and "when we secure her future,we secure the future of the entire home."
He said the Centre was also focussing on facilitating ease of living for the common citizen and that all government schemes "are oriented to cover this aim."
On NDA government's achievments in the last four years, he said it included easy credit for farmers' small business and sanctioning of over 11 crore loans under the PM Mudra Yojana worth Rs 4.60 lakh crore to people without any bank guarantee.
Most importantly 70 per cent of these beneficiaries were women, he said.
"The success of this scheme therefore has proved that women of India are now stepping out of the age-old shackles and seeking self-employment," Modi said.
He said the budget for the next fiscal has proposed reduction of EPF contribution for new women employees from 12 to 8 per cent while keeping the employee contribution at 12 per cent.
"Under the standup India scheme, women entrepreneurs would be given loans worth between Rs 10 lakh and Rs one crore. Changes have also allowed them to work in night shifts as well," the Prime Minister said.