President of India Ram Nath Kovind addresses the joint sitting of two houses of Parliament

New Delhi: The President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind addressed the joint sitting of two Houses of Parliament, here today. The President, in his address, highlighted the various initiatives taken by the Central Government for women safety,toprovide them new opportunities for self-employment and equal participation in various fields.

In his speech, the President said, “It is a constant endeavour of my Government to ensure that benefits of entrepreneurship are availed by every section in the country. Under schemes like HunarHaat and USTTAD, not only the skills of lakhs of crafts persons are being developed but employment opportunities are also being generated. Under these schemes, women crafts persons comprise more than half of the beneficiaries. These crafts persons are being connected to the global market through e-haat”. He further said, “Women entrepreneurs have a vital role to play in building a self-reliant India. My Government has taken several steps to provide new opportunities for self-employment to women. Under the MUDRA scheme, more than 25 crore loans have been sanctioned so far, of which nearly 70% have been given to women entrepreneurs”.

The President said, “ Under DeendayalAntyodaya Yojana – Rashtriya Grameen Ajeevika Mission, more than 7 crore women entrepreneurs have become a part of the network of nearly 66 lakh Self Help Groups in the country. These women groups have been provided bank loans worth Rs 3,40,000 crore in the last 6 years”.

He said, “Keeping in mind the health concerns of working women in rural areas of the country, the Government is implementing the ‘Suvidha’ scheme under which sanitary napkins are made available at a nominal cost of Re 1. My Government is relentlessly working towards protecting the health of infants and pregnant women through various initiatives like RashtriyaPoshanAbhiyaan, free check-ups and financial assistance to pregnant women. As a result of this, the Maternal Mortality Rate has declined from 130 per lakh in 2014 to 113. The Under 5 Child Mortality Rate has also reduced to 36 for the first time, which is less than the world average rate of 39”.

The President said, “As my Government considers it important to ensure equal participation by women, it is providing new opportunities for our sisters and daughters in various fields. My Government has taken several decisions in this direction, such as appointing women in the Fighter stream of the Indian Air Force and the Military Police for the first time, as well as allowing women to work in underground and open cast mines during the night shift. Keeping in mind the safety of the women, work on several initiatives such as setting up One Stop Centres, National Database of criminals, Emergency Response Support System and Fast Track Courts across the country is progressing at a rapid pace.”


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