As the world observes International Women's Day on Monday, India took some notable steps to celebrate the occasion. Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan on Monday unveiled two All Women Passport Seva Kendras in Delhi and Cochin. The two PSK that are transformed into all-women centers include RK Puram in New Delhi and Tripunithura in Cochin, Kerala.
Addressing at the event to launch the two new All Women PSKs, Muraleedharan emphasised on the center's efforts to empower women of the country. Below is the full text of Muraleedharan's remarks.
All Women Passport Seva Kendras
Ladies and Gentlemen
Namaskaram and Good evening
I am delighted to be here today to initiate transformation of two Passport Seva Kendras at R. K. Puram, Delhi and at Tripunithura, Cochin, Kerala into 'All Women PSKs'. I am particularly glad that the transformation of these PSKs to 'All Women PSKs' is taking place on the International Women's Day.
I am also delighted to see here a few women achievers in their respective fields. Your presence adds much value to this event.
The Passport Seva Programme is an ambitious programme of the Government and has emerged as one of the most successful programmes delivering passport related services to the citizens in India and Indian Diaspora living outside the country.
We have expanded our footprints to reach out to every corner of the country. We have created 93 Passport Seva Kendras and 426 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras, apart from existing 36 Passport Offices across the country. The programme has also extended to 190 Indian Mission / Posts abroad.
During the last 6 years, we have taken several steps to bring about quantitative and qualitative improvements in delivering passport services to the citizens not only in India but also outside India. These steps have enabled us to ensure that the passports are delivered to citizens in a timely, transparent, more accessible, reliable manner and in a comfortable environment through streamlined processes.
We endeavour in ensuring greater participation of women while delivering passport related services to citizens under the Passport Seva Programme. A total of 1670 women employees are presently deployed in the Passport Seva Programme.
Through this initiative to convert two of the Passport Seva Kendras to "All Women PSK", we reiterate our commitment to more participation of women. We recognize and appreciate the contribution women employees make in delivery of passport related services in PSKs.
The government has initiated various measures for the welfare of Indian women workers abroad. Government has signed Labour and Manpower Cooperation MoUs / Agreements with the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to discuss various labour related issues, including issues of women workers in GCC region.
Pre-Departure Orientation Training (PDOT) and local language based Media Awareness Campaigns are being conducted to educate the departing women workers about their rights and responsibilities. They are also informed about the various welfare and protection measures extended by the Indian Missions abroad.
India under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji marches towards a progressive, technologically advanced and socially diverse nation. The government has taken several initiatives for empowering women in India. Programmes such as POSHAN Abhiyan & Mission Indradhanush have been turned into mass movements to boost the health of pregnant women and children and to ensure that they get the right nutrition.
The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana and Swachh Bharat have raised the quality of life of crores of women, especially from the poorer sections. Ujjwala has transformed the lives of women by relieving them from the firewood kitchens. The LPG connection provided by the Government is helping them save the time and energy spent on looking for firewood. Schemes like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Mahila E-haat, Nari Shakti Puraskar, Mahila Shakti Kendra (MSK), Abolition of Triple Talaq etc. are transforming the lives of crores of women in India.
I congratulate employees of the two All Women PSKs and wish them all success in their future endeavours.
I also take this opportunity to wish all women a very happy International Women's Day.