DW BUREAU / Chandigarh
President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday underscored the need for giving freedom and encouragement to girls by their parents to enable them to scale new heights in a male-dominated society.
Noting that the responsibilities of women should not become an impediment in their way, he expressed concern over their low percentage in the technology and engineering sectors.
The President was on his maiden visit to the Union territory to attend the golden jubilee celebrations of the MCM DAV College for Women.
“In this male-dominated society, women face problems at every step, throughout their lives. How should they come out of this situation?
“I think, if parents and family members give freedom to girls to live their lives, give ideological and social independence, encourage them to get experience in new fields, then the self-confidence of girls will go up. They will touch new heights,” he told a gathering at the college.
Kovind said last week, Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi recorded her name in history by flying a fighter aircraft.
“Haryana’s Phogat sisters (wrestlers) have also shown that there is no sector which is taboo for daughters. Had parents of P V Sindhu (badminton player), Sania Mirza (tennis player), Saina Nehwal (badminton player), Aruna Reddy (gymnast) not given freedom to their daughters, exposure and encouragement, how could they have achieved great success in their lives,” he asked.
Stressing on the need for education and empowerment of women, Kovind, who was accompanied by his wife, said an educated daughter provides education to at least two families and apprises them of the importance of education.
“She takes care of the future of her family and helps in educating the coming generation. Our daughters have brightened the country’s name in every field — be it cultural art or sports, trade and industry. In this series, Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher has also made her name in cinema,” the President said.
“There is a long list of the daughters of Chandigarh who performed notable work in their respective fields. If I have to take one name, then I will name Neerja Bhanot. She had saved the lives of 359 air passengers with her bravery by defeating the terrorists in their nefarious designs in 1986,” he said.
“By laying down her life to save lives of others, not only Chandigarh, but the whole country is proud of this brave daughter,” he said.
He noted that students should understand their responsibilities towards their country and society.
Kovind also asked women to draw inspiration from the life of boxer Mary Kom.
“Women have a lot of responsibilities and these responsibilities should not become obstacles in their way. Such an example was given by Manipur’s Mary Kom. She did not stop from participating and winning in boxing despite being in her married life. She is the source of inspiration for every Indian woman,” he said.
While the contribution of women has increased in the IT sector, their enrolment in higher education reached 46 per cent during 2015-16, he said, adding their percentage in sectors like technology and engineering was still low.
On the occasion, the President honoured Taniya Bhatia, a member of Indian women’s cricket team, and national meet record holder Chahat Arora, a bronze medallist in ninth Asian Age Group Swimming Competition, in Uzbekistan, among others.Those present on the occasion included Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore, Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Dev Vrat, Kirron Kher and DAV College managing committee president Punam Suri.