Single women in Himachal win major battle
April 3, 2008
Shimla: Never in the history of Himachal Pradesh had a movement or campaign for social justice proved so effective. The awakening of thousands of single women in the state to fight for their rights proved effective today when the 3,000-odd women activists who, despite inclement weather, reached the Vidhan Sabha as part of their three-day Pad Yatra to press for their demands.
Agreeing to some of their demands, the government announced separate ration card, pension and free medical treatment for each deserving single woman certified by village pradhans.
Addressing all single women who had gathered there under the banner of Ekal Nari Shakti Sangathan, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said, “Panchayat pradhans will be instructed to treat all single women as separate identity for issuing ration cards to them. All pending pension cases of deserted women and widows will also be cleared soon.”
The decision is likely to benefit around 1.5 lakh single women in the state.
Dhumal also assured that amendment of the Tribal Act for giving the right of inheritance of ancestral (parental) property to tribal women, presently not allowed under the Act, will be taken up with the centre.
On Wednesday night weather tested the spirit of these women for the second consecutive day as they braved rain and cold wind to walk the last 10 kilometres of the march this morning. To add to it, the women had to wait for nearly three hours drenched in the rain before the CM arrived there.