Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday raised two major concerns of the state – degrading quality in education and fast-spreading drug addiction – and called upon women of the society to contribute their bit to deal with both on International Women’s Day (IWD).

Attending the IWD celebrations here this morning, Khandu said youths were the future of the state and the country, but a lack of quality education, and drug menace, have become a major hurdle in giving them a future.

“None will be more concerned than the womenfolk of the society,” he pointed.

He said not everything should be left to the government to solve, but each member of the society, especially women, should come forward voluntarily and help to eradicate the problems.

While expressing concern over the increase in the number of schools but the degradation of quality education, the Chief Minister said his government is committed to reviving the system.

“In this budget, we have kept Rs 1,000 crore to revive our education system and have declared 2021 as ‘Year of Education’,” he informed.

Hailing the New Education Policy of the central government, Khandu disclosed that the policy must be implemented in toto by 2030 across the country.

“We have already constituted the State Task Force for its implementation. Once this is implemented, the education scenario will change for the good. But without the support and cooperation of the people, the government alone cannot make it a success story,” he pointed.

He called for active support of women organisations, village chiefs, and particularly the School Management Committees of the villages, which he asserted, can change the outlook of the school if determined.

On the rising drug menace, the Chief Minister said the government cannot curb it without society’s support.

“On our part, we have established 6 deaddiction centres. This year, 2 more rehabilitation centres are coming up. But these centres are not the solution. Creating awareness amongst youths and vulnerable groups is most important and this can be effectively done by women organisations,” he said.

He suggested the State Commission for Women, State Legal Services Authority, and the Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society raise the topic in all their events and workshops and ask their district units to create awareness at the village levels. He also advised them to keep a check on the functioning of the deaddiction and rehabilitation centres and report the same to the government with recommendations, if any.

Responding to a submission made by the Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women (APSCW), the Chief Minister endorsed all the points that included the appointment of Child Protection Officer, compulsory marriage registration, fast track and family courts, job reservation, political reservation, ban on polygamy, right to property, etc.

“All the points raised are genuine. We will bring these issues for discussion in the next Assembly session,” he assured.

Society would prefer women leaders over men: Khandu

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu said the society would prefer women candidates to men once it acknowledges the role of women in politics.

“Once society realises that women can contribute better than their male counterparts, there won’t be any need for political reservation for women in the elections,” Khandu, who was addressing the International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrations at the D K State Convention Hall here said.

The chief minister took the example of Tawang district where the recent panchayat elections were held with 33 per cent reservation for women, however, 53 per cent of the seats were bagged by women.

Khandu further called upon the village chiefs who were present in the celebration in large numbers to empower women in the villages and give them opportunities to serve in various capacities including in politics.

Admitting that women have shown exemplary grit, honesty and sincerity when given responsibilities, Khandu urged the women entrepreneurs to take advantage of the state government’s flagship scheme Deendayal Upadhyay Swawlamban Yojana that offers 40 per cent front-ended capital subsidy to selected proposals.

“For women entrepreneurs, we have kept an additional subsidy of 5 per cent as an encouragement. We have faith that once the women take up a project, they will make it successful,” he said.

The chief minister also announced that from next year, a budget provision will be kept with the department of women and child development for the grand celebration of International Women’s Day.

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