The Uttar Pradesh government is set to launch ‘Mission Shakti with the commencement of Navratri on October 17 to dedicate the Hindu festival of goddess worship for women’s safety and empowerment. The initiative will last six months concluding on Chaitra Navratri in April next year. According to the government statement, various events will be organized at various places including Gram Panchayats, Industrial units, schools, government offices, and even Durga Puja pandals and Ramlilas with the objective of reaffirming the faith and resolve for women empowerment.
The initiative will see the participation of 23 government departments including basic education, secondary education, higher education, MSME. Several non-government agencies will also be participating in the programmes. Private cab drivers will be engaged as partners in the initiative. The events will include short films, street plays, safety pledge, sensitisation about women’s laws and a public display of inspirational stories of women.
CM Yogi has said that the Mission Shakti should start with mass awareness programmes and had directed all the concerned departments to prepare their respective plans for the execution of the initiative. According to Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Avinash Awasthi, the special awareness drive is aimed at boosting the morale of women and children and empowering them by making them aware of their rights.
He said that the intention was to highlight the sensitivity of the government in handling the cases related to women and children while ensuring stringent action against the culprits. Awasthi said that he had a meeting along with Director General of Police Hitesh Chandra Awasthi to prepare an outline for the drive.
A presentation was also made by DG (Women Power Line-1090) Neera Rawat on the successful conduct of the drive. “For wider reach, this special awareness drive, eleven other departments like medical education, technical education, vocational education, higher education, basic education, secondary education, labour, employment exchange, Panchayati Raj, rural development and information and public relations department have also been roped in for this nine-day campaign”, said Awasthi.
According to Awasthi, the rights and the laws related to women and children will be publicised through police stations and government departments. Posters will also be put up at places like schools, colleges, universities and other training centres and at Panchayats where involvement of women is in large numbers in urban as well as a rural area. There will be workshops to make women and children aware of the security measures to keep them safe and to sensitise them to speak out when they victims.