Minister of State for Women and Child Development (WCD) Vibhavari Dave Wednesday slammed the opposition for “protesting” against Chief Minister Vijay Rupani who was “instilling pride and giving wings” to women in the state.
She was speaking at the Nari Gaurav Divas event in Vadodara, to mark the fourth of the nine-day celebrations of the five years of Gujarat government,
Dave, who hailed the works done by Rupani as Chief Minister for women’s upliftment, warned the opposition that women, who have the “strength to multiply what we get”, can also turn into “goddesses and crush those coming in the way” of women empowerment.
In a heated 10-minute speech delivered at the Sayaji Nagar Gruh in Vadodara, Dave lashed out at the “opposition that never cared for women”, after some Congress workers were detained from the city during a protest against the BJP policies on women safety. Dave, who warned the opposition of a fitting reply from women, said that women had the strength to multiply everything thrown towards them, including stones. Dave said, “I have been seeing for so long and I saw today also that people, who have nothing to do with women upliftment, are protesting against a Chief Minister, who has come to instill pride in women and make women self-reliant..”
Dave went on to say, “Women have the power to multiply what they get. If you give us grains, we will turn it into a delicious meal for you, if you give us a house with four pieces of rags, we will turn it into a beautiful home; if you take us as a wife and join us into your family, we will fill your house with the prosperity of progeny. Whatever you give us, we will multiply it and return it to you.”
She said, “Similarly, the opposition must know that it is also applicable to those who try to deter us and create hurdles. If needed, we can turn into Goddesses and teach them how dangerous it can be to try to crush the pride and self-reliance of women.”
During her speech, Dave also referred to the schemes for women in Gujarat, initiated by the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi, and applauded Rupani for “making them larger”. Dave said, “In 2002, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, it was Narendra Modi who started the Women and Child Development Department, which they (Congress) never did… Modiji had started with a token budget of Rs 456 crore and Rupaniji has allotted Rs 3511 crore for women’s issues.”
Rupani, who later addressed the gathering and spoke about the contribution of women in various fields in the state, turned to Dave and asked her to “calm down”. Rupani told Dave, “We can see you are agitated but you should not ruin your mind by reacting to these (Congress, opposition) people. The people of the state will give them a response, as they already have to Look at the condition that they (Congress party) is in.”
Rupani also distributed the first cheques of the newly launched Gangaswaroop Punarvivah Sahay Yojana for widow remarriage to three token beneficiaries and cheques of Rs 1 lakh to about ten women self-help groups from Nadiad, Anklav, Sankheda, Vadodara district, Vadodara city, and Halol. He said that it was a “moment of pride” for Gujarat that women athletes from the state were leading competitions at the Tokyo Olympics.
Rupani also referred to Bangladeshi social entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance, while speaking of the Gujarat government initiative. Rupani said, “Muhammad Yunus has pioneered the small finance in Bangladesh and the Gujarat government initiatives are one-of-its-kind with close to 189 schemes to benefit people and especially women. The government has generated employment for 1.5 lakh people in the state and 33% of these are women.”