Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the occasion of International Women's Day on Sunday announced the creation of a ''Mission Shakti'' department, exclusively for the development of the women. Affirming his government's commitment to work for ensuring the rights and welfare of women, the Chief Minister said that Odisha has already emerged as a frontrunner in the country in achieving women empowerment.
"I would like to announce that Odisha will be the first state to have an exclusive department for the self-help groups. This will be called the Department of Mission Shakti and will be dedicated to all the women of Odisha," the Chief Minister said.
He was addressing an event on the occasion of International Women's Day in Bhubaneswar. "70 lakh women are getting benefits under Mission Shakti and Mamata Scheme and 50% reservation in Panchayati Raj has ushered in a new era for the socio-economic development of women. Women's success in fields ranging from sports to entrepreneurship is extremely encouraging," said Patnaik.
Noting that eminent women like sprint star Dutee Chand, writer Pratibha Ray and film personality Nandita Das have brought glory to Odisha, the Chief Minister said that they have become symbols of empowerment and ideals for the women of the country. Referring to the special nutrition budget introduced in the state this year, he said it will primarily focus on the nutrition of women and children.
The theme for International Women's Day 2020 is "I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women's Rights". The Chief Minister felicitated the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) of Mayurbhanj, Dhenkanal and Gajapati districts on the occasion. Patnaik and a host of dignitaries also took to their twitter handles to wish the women on the occasion.
Be it financial independence or representing the people in Parliament, empowering women has been the cornerstone of our development initiatives. We will continue to work towards championing them in every field and create spaces for their leadership towards progress. #WomensDay pic.twitter.com/5xNWMXw7mp— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) March 8, 2020
#InternationalWomensDay is yet another occasion to celebrate the steely resolve of women to excel, serve and inspire. Women today are creating new landmarks and will drive the next wave of growth in India. #SheInspiresUs #IspatiIrada https://t.co/Qa33ENipWh— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) March 8, 2020
BJP national vice president Baijayant Panda also wished women on the occasion of International Women's Day. A car and bike rally was organised in Bhubaneswar to mark the day.
(With agency inputs)