HYDERABAD: It's time parents strove for empowering their girl children educationally and financially instead of worrying about their marriage. Well, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy scored with a straight bat for woman empowerment on International Women's Day here on Thursday.
"Parents should refrain from spending lavishly on the marriages. There should be an end to the social evils," he said while addressing a gathering at the International Women's Day celebrations organised by the Women Development and Child Welfare department here on Thursday.
He, however, expressed concern over the suicide of two girls in Anantapur district because their parents were unable to marry them off.
Discrimination of women
He said despite several measures, discrimination of women continued in every field. The Government had introduced schemes like `Paavala vaddi' (loans to women at three per cent interest a year) to ensure that they secured the seed capital for starting their own ventures.
The Government's efforts were yielding fruit as self-help groups were able to handle several tasks entrusted to them successfully.
This was evident from the fact that the income of women was on the rise while at the same time, the enrolment of girls in the schools had also improved significantly.
Women Development and Child Welfare Minister N. Rajyalakshmi said priority was accorded to the education of the girl child to curb discrimination against them.
Kasturba Gandhi schools
The Government had decided to set up over 180 Kasturba Gandhi schools next year while efforts were underway to set up rest rooms with the required amenities for teenage girls in all schools. Chief Secretary J. Harinarayan said more should be done in addressing nutrition-related issues and in checking female foeticide.
Later, addressing a meeting of the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat Women Employees Association, the Chief Minister said the Government would consider sanctioning a day's special casual leave for women on International Women's Day every year, if there was a precedence. D. Reddy said he would ask officials to find an alternative accommodation for the office of the association at the Secretariat. President of the association Nagamamba was present.