Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik – The New Indian Express

By Express press service

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday said empowering girls and women and their financial independence were at the heart of all state government initiatives. Addressing the national conference of the Odisha State Commission for Women, the CM said that no household, society or country has moved forward without empowering its women.

Referring to Mission Shakti as one of the flagship programs of the government, he said that it encompasses 70 lakh women in all habitations in the state. Mission Shakti symbolizes the transformation occurring across Odisha.

Naveen said the state has also reserved 50% seats for women in panchayats. In the local elections which have just ended, more than 55% of women were elected. At least 21 of Zilla Parishad’s 30 presidents are women. In a first by any political party, Biju Janata Dal reserved a third of the seats for women in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he added.

In addition, several programs have been launched by the government for the welfare of women. The Mamata program empowers pregnant women by providing them with financial support at a vulnerable time. Similarly, Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY), the state health insurance scheme, has 10 lakh coverage for women, Naveen added.

Mara R. Wilmoth