Himachal Chief Minister Sh. Virbhadra Singh has advocated the use of modern technology to educate and motivate the youths for undertaking constructive activities and wean away them from falling in the hands of communal forces so as to strengthen the national unity and integrity.
While speaking in national integration council meeting in Vigyan Bhawan New Delhi, Chief Minister Sh. Virbhadra Singh advocated the need to protect and preserve the pluralist tradition and multicultural fabric of the society by actively countering the dangerous attempts to communalize the society and polity. He said that communalization of national institutions like education, history and polity should be stopped immediately and asked for stringent action against all those who incite and indulge in fissiparous acts.
He asked the law enforcement agencies to sensitize and motivate police forces to take effective and prompt action to prevent and contain communal violence and asked for optimum use of natural resources to raise the social and economic standards of the people .
Chief Minister Sh. Virbhadra Singh said that Himachal Pradesh is most peaceful state with absolute communal harmony. He said that state government has issued necessary instructions to the law enforcing agencies and special cells under the supervision of Deputy Superintendent of Police have been constituted in the districts to deal with First Information Reports (FIRs) relating to matters arising out of communal problems. FIRs lodged by any community on the basis of religion are treated as Special Reported Case and information in this regard is invariably communicated to the state government immediately and necessary action is initiated at once.
He said that safety and security of women has been given prime importance by state government which is being ensured through a multipronged strategy. He said that emphasis has been laid on recruitment of women in police force and about 20% posts up to the level of sub-inspector of police have been reserved for women. He told that various institutional mechanisms such as State Women Commission, help line for women, complaints committees for preventing sexual harassment of women at work places, Mahila Kalyan Board have been set up in the state and 50% reservation has been given to women in all PRIs / Urban Local Bodies. He said that various legislation’s such as Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act,1961, Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act-2012, Child Marriage Prohibition Act, 2006, PC and PNDT Act,1994, HP Registration of Marriages Act, 1996, are being implemented strictly in the state .
Chief Minister Sh. Virbhadra Singh said that the state government has constituted various welfare boards for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Labana, Kabeerpanthi, OBC, minorities and the Gorkhas to ensure that the benefits of various programmes of the central and state government reach these communities.
He said that the state government is committed for the uniform socio-economic development, empowerment and social inclusion of the vulnerable sections such as scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes and minorities and added that various central legislation’s like the Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955, the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 and Rules 1995 are being strictly implemented in the state.
He said that state government has started various schemes in the field of health, nutrition, education for empowerment of women which include Mukhya Mantri Bal Udhar Yojana, Mukhya Mantri Kanya Daan Yojana, Mother Teresa Matri Asahaya Sambal Yojana , Widow Re-marriage Assistance, Assistance for self-employment, Vishesh Mahila Uthan Yojana, financial assistance and support services for victims of rape, working women hostels, free education for girls, separate toilets for girls in schools, formation and promotion of self help groups of women, etc. In addition centrally sponsored schemes like Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana, Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent girls (SABLA), Krishi Shakti Yojna, MNREGA, SSA/RMSA etc. are also being implemented effectively in the state.
Chief Minister Sh. Virbhadra Singh said that status of women in the state has shown positive trends in key parameters and added that overall sex ratio has improved from 968 in 2001 to 974 in 2011. Similarly, female literacy has increased from 65% in 2001 to 76% in 2011.
He said that 9% of the state annual plan has been earmarked for the tribal sub-plan for the development of scheduled tribes and added that H.P. Transfer of Land (Regulations) Act, 1968 is being implemented strictly for prevention of land alienation in scheduled area.
He said that state government has earmarked 24.72% of the state annual plan for the scheduled caste sub-plan and has initiated many schemes for the overall development of weaker sections of the society including award for inter-caste marriage, social security pension, housing subsidy, follow-up programme, hostels for SC, OBCs girls/boys, schemes of scholarships for SCs/OBCs and minorities, Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana, Mukhyamantri Adarsh Gram Yojana, training and proficiency in computer applications and allied activities, compensation to the victims of atrocities, grant-in-aid to NGOs working in the field of SCs, OBCs and minorities.
He stressed the need to pay greater attention to understanding the aspirations people and frame policies that will help achieve them.
He said that certain selfish forces have been fueling disharmony and conflicts by spreading fear, suspicion and hatred and asked to take effective steps to tackle these anti-national forces jointly and earnestly. The societies, individuals and specially youth must rise above self and contribute to nation building. We need to come together to thwart the narrow-minded forces with an iron hand to create peace and unity in our country, Sh. Virbhadra Singh added.