Empower women, says President
Speaking on the occasion, the President expressed concern over the deficiencies in the health infrastructure of the country.
He said the only long lasting solution is to create cooperative structures comprising the government and private stake holders as well as civil society.
In fact, the developmental goals of health, education, livelihood etc. cannot be achieved by the government alone. Such co-operative structures are relevant for all of them, he said.
The President said there is a phenomenal shortage of about 2.4 million nurses in our country and a decrease in the number of nurses from about 1.65 million in 2009 to about 1.56 million in 2015.
This indicated a worry-some trend. At the same time, our infrastructure also comprises of just 1.53 lakh sub-centres, 85000 PHCs and about 5000 Community Health Centres in a nation of 130 crore people living in more than 5000 towns and 6.4 lakh villages, he said.
It is essential to look for models wherein all stake-holders participate rather than the government alone,Mukherjee said.
The President praised the leading role played by the Mahila Dakshata Samiti in women’s empowerment and recalled the contributions of the Samiti’s founding members such as Suman Krishankant, Prof. Pramila Dandavate and Smt. Mridula Sinha, the Governor of Goa.
He said real empowerment of women would be possible only through education, encouragement of economic self-dependence and provision of opportunities enabling the unfolding of one’s full potential.
The President said it is unfortunate that today when average overall literacy in India was 74%, women's literacy is less than 65%.
He said a society which does not empower its women will end up as a loser and called for renewed efforts in this direction.