In a initiative Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister of Women and Child Development (Independent Charge) today inaugurated the Conference on Issues and Challenges for Development of Scheduled Caste Women and Children, first of its kind in recent past. Speaking on the occasion, Smt. Krishna Tirath said that a concerted effort is required to bridge the gap between the advanced communities and the Scheduled Caste Communities, particularly of women and children on some of the social indicators like literacy, infant mortality rate, dropout rates and health, drinking water, land and house hold assets. She further said that untouchability has been abolished but we have to further ensure that no person is subjected to any harassment or humiliation because of caste identity. Within the SC community too women and children require particular attention for improving their health and nutritional status, educational and livelihood opportunities and protection against atrocities and violence faced by them. The Conference aims at taking stock of the existing special interventions for empowerment of SC women and children.
The goal of holistic empowerment of Scheduled Caste Women and children whether social, economic or political, cannot however, be achieved in isolation and would involve proactive participation of other stakeholders such as State Governments, civil society groups and grassroots level organisations. It also necessitates reform of existing legislations, whether required, as well as the sensitization of law enforcement agencies and the judicial system. It would also entail a radical transformation in the mindsets and societal perceptions within the family, the community and the nation as a whole. An integrated approach which focuses on the holistic empowerment and development of SC women and children is necessary to ensure that the constitutional vision of equality is fully realized.
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