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Negative perceptions about women must end: President

Amid nationwide outrage over the Delhi gangrape, President today called for changing \"negative perceptions\" about women and said they should be provided a safe, secure and congenial environment in which their talents can prosper.

Published: 25th December 2012 05:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th December 2012 10:09 PM   |  A+A-

PRANAB_PTI 3
By PTI

Amid nationwide outrage over the Delhi gangrape, President Pranab Mukherjee today called for changing "negative perceptions" about women and said they should be provided a safe, secure and congenial environment in which their talents can prosper.

"We as a society must work towards changing negative perceptions about women. Women must be treated with respect and should be provided a safe, secure and congenial environment in which their talents can flower and they can contribute their full share in the building of our nation," Mukherjee said.

He was addressing the special Convocation of Banaras Hindu University here organised to mark the concluding ceremony of birth centenary of Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya.

Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav was conferred honorary doctorate of law at the convocation also attended by Union Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch, Union Minister of State for Finance Namo Narayan Meena, UP Governor B L Joshi and Chancellor of the university Karan Singh.

Describing Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviaya a statesman, scholar, educationist, journalist, social reformer and legislator, the President said his contribution to the making of modern India has been immense and varied.

"Malaviyaji dedicated his whole life in the service of the nation. He was a great votary of women's education. His emphasis on women's education and empowerment should inspire us to redouble efforts in this regard," Mukherjee said.

The President also unveiled the foundation stone of Centre for Inter-Cultural Studies and Centre for Human Values and Studies.

He also launched a website on Mahamana on the occasion.

"It is a happy moment for all of us that we are commemorating this event by conferring the highest degree of the University on the Hon'ble President of Nepal, a country with which India has deep cultural affinity and historical ties," Mukherjee said.

Terming universities as fountainhead of knowledge, Mukherjee said they will have to discover fresh perspectives and assume new responsibilities to meet the imperatives of holistic human and social development.

In his address, the Nepalese President thanked the university for conferring the honour on him and said Varanasi has been a key link and source of cultural bonding between Nepal and India.

"I thank Banaras Hindu University and India for this great honour," Yadav said.

Recalling Malviya's vision for banishing illiteracy and fog of communalism, Mukherjee said "the fact that illiteracy still remains to be banished and the fog of communalism is yet to vanish, reminds us of the unfinished task ahead of us".

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