Promises a law soon to curb crime against women
United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Friday used the opportunity of inauguration of the first women’s Government Medical College of independent India at Khanpur Kalan here on the occasion of International Women’s Day to reiterate the need to take concrete steps to curb crimes against women and promised a law in this regard soon.
Without making a direct reference to the gang-rape of a physiotherapy student in a moving bus in Delhi this past December, Ms. Gandhi said our heads hang in shame over incidents of rape and crime against women. “It is our collective responsibility to wash off this stigma. The UPA Government has taken steps in this direction by making a provision for a special Nirbhaya Fund and an all-women bank in the Union Budget. We have made laws against domestic violence and sexual harassment at workplaces and soon a new law for crime against women would also be enacted,” she said.
She said the Haryana Government deserved all praise for providing opportunities to women to showcase their talents and hoped that the efforts made now would bear fruits in future. Ms. Gandhi said more and more women should take over important positions and education alone could prepare them to face the challenges of the future. “The growing number of women in local bodies and panchayats has strengthened our democracy,” she added.
Enlisting several schemes of the Haryana Government for women’s empowerment, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said his government was making all efforts to increase participation of women in society.
Ms. Gandhi also presented medals to students at the first Convocation of Bhagat Phool Singh Mahila Vishwavidyalaya, the first women’s university of North India.
Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadia, Rohtak MP Deepender Singh Hooda and Haryana Education Minister Geeta Bhukkal were among those present.
Earlier, Ms. Gandhi went round the medical college and hospital and interacted with the patients. She was also shown a documentary on the progress and contribution of the college and hospital.
Spread over 88 acres, the Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women is the first women college of the country since Delhi’s Lady Hardinge Medical College was established in 1914.
The medical college and the hospital have been built in a record time after its foundation stone was laid by Ms. Gandhi on March 1, 2009. The hospital at the college was started on September 1, 2011, with 100 beds and a team of 21 doctors. It now has 450 beds and 211 doctors.