An educated woman is key to a prosperous India: HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on Women's Day 2020
Photographer: Gawrav Sinha

As a member of one of the largest education systems in the world, I get the opportunity to attend several convocation ceremonies. I see a clear trend where our daughters are delivering the best performances and results in every field.

Be it in degrees or the number of gold medalists, our daughters constitute 60 per cent of that list. This figure might go up to 70-75 per cent. I see this as a positive sign. The developed countries in the world have reached their heights by giving proper respect to the women in their countries.

The whole world celebrates International Women’s Day on March 8. Underlining the importance of women in nation-building and development processes, and viewing men and women as equal, Swami Vivekananda had said, “The country that does not respect its women is a country that will never prosper.”

The Vedas have clearly stated that all organisms have the same soul; by that logic, there should not be any discrimination between women and men. I have always believed that the entire life of a man is dependent on, and revolves around, a woman.

When a baby comes into this world, till its adolescence, it is most connected to its mother and sees her as the first guru. For the creation of a decent, advanced and superior society, it is essential for its people to be educated, and women are not just an important cog in the wheel, but also an integral pre-requisite.

The way every cell comes together to create the human body, every small unit of each family comes together to build society. The source of energy for every individual, and the centre-point of every family, is a woman.

If a woman is educated, then two families are educated, and when every family is educated, the whole country is educated. This is why great philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau had said, “Give me a hundred ideal mothers, and I will give you an ideal nation.”

Our traditions teach us ‘God resides where women are worshipped’. Mother means ‘Creator’. A mother has been considered to be superior to even God, and the creator of God has also been a woman.

Whether Lord Ram, Ganesha or Kartikeya, Lord Krishna, or Guru Nanak DevJi, there is always the need to have mothers like Kaushalya, Parvati, Yashodha, and Tripta. When challenges arise before us, it is important for the new generation to introspect on where they lack traditionally and culturally.

In the Vedic Ages, students such as Ghosha, Lopamudra, Sulabha, Maitreyi and Gargihave made a huge mark in spiritual and intellectual excellence. We have taken the utmost care while drafting the new education policy so that girls get proper education.

A mother’s culture, behaviour and education play a huge role in developing children’s minds. Only an educated mother can plant the seed of culture and tradition in the mind of her child which, going ahead, is important for society and the nation.

The contribution of women is of utmost importance in order to pull the cart of life forward. It is critical for women to be educated in order to participate in an empowered manner.

If a woman is not educated, then she will be unsuccessful in driving her life in a fast-paced world. If she is educated, not only will her family life be heavenly, but she could also be a guiding force for society and the country’s path to progress.

In Indian society, an educated mother is considered to be superior to even a guru because she can make her children better than the best.

In India, whenever there has been discrimination between women and men, we have had to pay a heavy price for it. T

he Indian Government is determined to ensure the empowerment of women via schemes such as Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana, Women Helpline Scheme, Ujjwala Yojana, Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP) Scheme, and one-stop Mahila Shakti Kentra Scheme.

By giving representation to women in Panchayati Raj schemes, the government has tried to take a brave step towards the development and empowerment of women.

It is essential that every daughter of this country gets access to education and studies with such gusto that she can compete on the global stage in the best possible way. The Government of India is fully prepared to campaign for our daughters to make them self-reliant, self-confident and successful.

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Free Press Journal