“This Ahimsa Messenger programme is aimed at generating awareness about basic legal rights of the women, their economic and social development and on their respect and safety” said Sonia Gandhi. The Congress President also said that just making laws would not prevent crimes. “We know that making laws and policies is not enough; but we also have to implement them at the grass-root levels. There is a need to change the mindset of the people in our society. In this modern society, we must be ready to ensure equal rights for women; it is our responsibility and a challenge. What we want now is a social revolution, to break all barriers which prevent equality for women” said Sonia Gandhi.
“In a family the right that a male child has should be given to a girl child too. Like every boy, each girl child also has the right to get proper education, training, job and also to secure a respectable position in the society” added the UPA Chairperson.
While expressing her concern over the growing crimes against women, Sonia Gandhi commented “When women are reaching new milestones with their commendable performance at different walks of life, there are also shameful incidents of child marriage, female foeticide, dowry-related atrocities, domestic and sexual violence”.
“Let us take a pledge today that we will, together, work hand-in-hand, to put an end to the atrocities and violence against women. Let us all work together to ensure empowerment, development and respect to all our sisters” she urged the huge gathering of girls and Anganwadi Workers present while concluding her address.
Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister, Women and Child Development in the presence of Shri V. Kishore Chandra Deo Minister, Panchayati Raj and Tribal Affairs were also present. Nearly 30,000 girls from Delhi NCR who have been benefitted by Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls or SABLA also attended the function.
This initiative addresses violence against women in all forms through a mass movement by creating numerous Ahimsa Messengers in various parts of the country, till the grassroots level. This programme aims at preventing violence against women and children and generating awareness about basic legal rights, procedures and provisions amongst women and children at the grassroots. The programme involves both men and women including youths to address and eliminate all forms of violence against women and children at grassroots and facilitate social/community mobilization to fight social evils. Ahimsa Messengers would also serve as link workers in case of any violence and also facilitate the women to approach the concerned authorities in case of incidences of violence for suitable redressal and follow up on the case.
This programme will be implemented through all Anganwadi Centres, all Panchayati Raj Institutions, Sabla Girls (in the age group of 16-18 years) and Poorna Shakti Kendras (PSK) coordinators under the National Mission for Empowerment of Women (NMEW) will be trained as Ahimsa Messengers.