Lucknow, Feb 15 - Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today said the society can only progress when half the population is given equal opportunities and justice. He said that socialists have always been votaries of equality to women and even the Constitution has enshrined equal rights for the women folk. The society must also give them this right.
The Chief Minister was speaking at the launch of the auto and e-rickshaw services being conducted by the 'Hamsafar Mahila Sahayata Centre' and the Asha Trust. The service is being started by seven women drivers, who come from a modest background and are starting a fresh phase of their lives. Congratulating the Humsafar Trust and all organisations involved in this noble work for they have shown these women a new way to life, Mr. Yadav pointed out how generally the women keep their pains to themselves owing to social stigma and that these organisations have shown them a way to live and also taken care of their education, health and honour.
Praising the grit and determination of the seven women drivers trained by the Humsafar and Asha Trust, the Chief Minister also highlighted how women across the world have marched ahead due to their dedication and hard work.
Referring to the struggle of Ms Arunima Sinha, the Chief Minister told the gathering how due to her will power and determination, Ms Sinha had scaled the Mount Everest. On this occasion, he also announced that all these seven women drivers will be given e-rickshaws free-of-cost by the state government. He also provided the e-rickshaw drivers certificates. Women drivers also narrated their real life stories to the gathering.
The Chief Minister informed that the state government was relentlessly working to solve the problems being faced by the women and sought the support on the ground from all sections of the society.
The '1090' Women Power Line, he added, had benefitted over 3 lakh women who were facing harassment and now they are leading a hassle free life.
Mr. Yadav further added that real Socialism will only be ushered in when women folk will be financially strong and prosperous for which the government was running the Samajwadi Pension Scheme under which 45 lakh poor families were being benefitted in the current financial year and the number would be expanded to 55 lakh families in the next financial year. Under this scheme, on priority basis, the women head of a family is provided Rs 500 per month and the money goes directly into her bank account. The Chief Minister also informed that the state government was establishing 'Aasha Jyoti Kendra's' in various districts and the state has constituted Rs 100 crores for the 'Rani Laxmibai Mahila Samman' Fund under which women achieving some special place in different fields are recognized and honoured.
Such women would be honoured by this fund on March 8 on occasion of the International Women's Day. Present on the occasion were political pension minister Rajendra Chowdhary, principal secretary (Information) Navneet Sehgal, eminent film director Imtiaz Ali, other dignitaries and a large number of women and students.