22 June:Expressing concern over the plight of widows of soldiers who sacrificed their lives, President Pratibha Patil on Sunday said all concerned must take special initiatives to ensure that due benefits reach them.
"After their husbands death, the condition of these widows become very pathetic as many of them are illiterate and have little knowledge about outside world. They also become dependent on others," Patil said while addressing a felicitation function attended by many ex-servicemen and widows of martyrs.
We have to give proper attention to the welfare of such widows and also provide necessary training and proper livelihood to them, she added.Around 50 widows were felicitated by the President during the function.
"For them special packages are announced but full benefits of such packages do not reach them," the President rued.The first woman President of the country also said she had earlier come to know about the poor condition of the widows when she was the Governor of Rajasthan and had tried to know the problems of each widow of the state by writing a letter to them.
"Concerned departments of all states, which are involved in dispensing such packages should look into the problems of the widows and try to ensure that they get their full dues", Patil emphasised.
Patil said the Rajasthan government has been taking steps for the welfare of ex-servicemen but those were not enough and hence special attention should be given to such schemes.
She also asked the district Sainik Boards to help the authorities in rehabilitation of former soldiers."There is also a need for launching self-employment training programmes for these retired personnel," Patil said.
The Rajasthan government has been implementing several welfare schemes for the widows of martyrs. Special steps must be taken so that they are benefited.
There is also a need for proper publicity of these schemes, she said in her address.Praising the ‘Shekhawati’ region of the state for contributing a number of its men to the three armed forces, Patil said that the nation and the society will always be indebted to them.
Earlier in the day in Jaipur, the President visited the ashram of Acharya Sri Maha Prayagji and sought his blessings. Later in the evening at Jaipur, Patil unveiled a statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar, which is believed to be the tallest Ambedkar statue in the country.
While addressing the gathering, the President said Ambedkar believed that education was a strong weapon to fight against injustice and exploitation.
"Education and learning are the agents of change for those who are socially backward, illiterate and gripped with superstition," she said.Advocating higher education for everyone, especially girls, Patil said a well educated person can face the challenges of life with courage and belief. They can help the country in its progress, she said.
"This educated and trained population of ours will place the country in the frontline of developed nations in the 21st century," she added.Calling for a larger role for women in the country, Patil said that once they are educated cases of dowry, child marriage and female foeticide will see a downtrend.
Stressing on the need for "all-inclusive" growth, Patil said that it would help in eliminating the miseries of the people.She urged the people -especially young persons- to imbibe the teachings of Babasaheb Ambedkar.Courtsey: DD NEWS