Indian President Pranab Mukherjee
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee Reuters

President Pranab Mukherjee laid the foundation stone for 'Nirbhaya Bhawan', the permanent headquarters of National Commission for Women (NCW) in honour of the 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim.

Speaking at the function held on Tuesday at Vigyan Bhawan, the president lamented the 'deprivity of human nature.' "The barbaric act perpetrated on women is not just a matter of law and force, but also of the society's apathetic attitude. Whenever a woman is subjected to violence, people around show their apathy and aloofness. It is deprivity of human nature," he said.

He added that the recent cases of violence against women indicate that India is not worth being called civilized.

"The recent cases of violence on women indicate that we have lost our civilizational values and a society which cannot provide respect, dignity and security to its women is not worth being called a civilized society," he said.

On the occasion, he commented on the exceptional initiatives of National Commission for Women in upholding 'the rights, dignity and development of women in the country' since its founding in 1992.

"It has been widely recognized and appreciates for the pivotal role that it has played in the empowerment of women in India. It is therefore, only appropriate that the Commission, after 20 years of service dedicated to the cause of Indian women, should finally have its own permanent headquarters," he said.

He hoped that with its own separate premises, the Women's Commission would be able to generate better infrastructure, enhance its outreach and improve its competitiveness.

Krishna Tirath, Minister of State for Women and Child Development, and Mamta Sharma, Chairperson for the National Commission for Women, were present on the occasion.