BANGALORE: Women and Child Welfare Minister Umashree on Wednesday gave a call to women to rise above caste, religion and politics and empower themselves.
She was speaking at a discussion organised by Sugrama-Grama Panchayat Chunayitha Prathinidigala Sangha- Karnataka, a federation representing the rights and interests of elected women representatives of Gram Panchayats, here on Wednesday.
She said, “Women still find it difficult to break the caste, religion and political barriers in taking individual opinions.”
Umashree also said that she has brought it to the notice of Panchayat Raj Minister H K Patil on holding individual gram sabhas without any political pressure.
“The state government felt the need for this and has done a remarkable job by giving 50 per cent reservation for women in GPs,” the minister said.
Women should emerge as a separate force and have a greater say in administration, the actor-turned politician added.
President of Sugrama, Padmini Ananth, said the programme is supported by The Hunger Project and an NGO. The concept is to encourage rural and gram panchayat women for their active participation in the administration process.
The meet was attended by 310 elected GP members from 54 Taluks and 17 districts. A memorandum consisting of issues and problems of Gram Panchayats was presented to Umashree.
The minister said that stringent action will be taken on those guilty officials of the Kannada and Culture Department allegedly involved in the scam related to purchase and distribution of gold medals meant for artistes. Efforts will be made to bring full transparency and corrupt officials will not be tolerated, the minister told Express on the sidelines of the event. The department officials were accused of producing fake bills in the name of the artistes and the case is now being investigated by Lokayukta.
On a recent report that nearly 21 per cent of children covered under the mid-day meal scheme were found to be malnourished, the minister said she will take a look at the report and initiate necessary action.