Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, urged people to respect women the same way they respect Goddess Durga while virtually inuagurating a Durga Puja organised by West Bengal BJP unit.
"In Bengal, Durga is welcomed and treated as a daughter. This philosophy is the basis of our spiritual consciousness. That is why we are taught to respect all daughters like Ma Durga. On the occasion of Navratri, she is worshipped. And Durga Puja is about worshipping women's power," Deccan Chronicle quoted Modi as saying.
His message comes amid the rising rape cases across the country. He reiterated that the government is alert about the security of women, and punishment for rape has been made a lot stricter, including the death penalty for offenders.
Speaking on the steps taken by the government for women empowerment, Modi detailed on Jan Dhan accounts opened for 22 crore women, provision of loans under the Mudra Yojana, the launching of Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao initiative, permanent commission to women in the armed forces and maternity leave extension from 12 to 26 weeks.
At the beginning of his address, Modi shared his puja greetings with the people and appealed them to adhere to the guidelines in view of the coronavirus pandemic, including social distancing norms and wearing face masks while taking part in the festivities.
Speaking on the initiative of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, Modi asserted that strengthening this vision of making India self-reliant will start from the land of Bengal., taking the state's culture, progress to a whole new level.
Modi said the Centre is focusing on reducing the problems faced by the people of the state and ensuring significant development. "We have adopted the vision of Purbaday to develop Eastern India. West Bengal has to play an important role to make our vision a success," he added.
Modi virtually inaugurated the Durga Puja event organised by the BJP at the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre at Kolkata's Salt Lake area on Maha Sasthi.