Vice President's Secretariat
azadi ka amrit mahotsav

Text of the Vice-President's address at the culmination ceremony of 40 years of FICCI Ladies Organisation

Posted On: 27 MAR 2024 8:27PM by PIB Delhi

In last few months I have had the opportunity of interacting with dynamic members from the Bangalore, Kanpur and Jammu chapters of FLO, I have had the occasion to meet some of them otherwise also.

I have very strong connect with your organization 4 decades is not more time to make an impact you have done it. And I am sure you are significant part of marathon March for Bharat@2047.

 At a time when the nation is witnessing unprecedented exponential rise in economy and development, your organization has enough to contribute.

There were no women CEOs at all at Fortune 500 companies until 1972. Towards the end of 2023, there are more than 50 women CEOs on the Fortune 500 list. This is no doubt a milestone, but there is a long way to traverse still. Your claiming this position and rightful place is well for economic stability, societal growth and harmony.

No one can disagree that gender equality, women empowerment and women-lead development. They are fundamental to just society, society where there is justice and no inequalities. It brings about equality of great nature.

In essence, empowering women is an investment in the present and future of our world. You are investing for the family you are investing for the society as a matter of the fact you are investing for the entire planet. By promoting equal opportunities, breaking down barriers and amplifying the voices and achievements of women, we create a society that is not only fairer and more just, but also prosperous and sustainable.

In recent years series of  affirmative initiatives and policy measures taken that has  fostered an environment where every woman can thrive.  This has yielded fruits with women participation getting enhanced in every facet of governance.

There is increasing workplace culture that champions diversity and inclusion. Diversity in the workplace – whether in gender diversity, age or background – is leading to an increase in creativity and innovation.

When Bharat is experiencing upbeat mood, let me take you to in 1989 I was member of parliament I was Uunion Minister, I had to suffer the pain anguished at the demeaning situation that our gold had to be physically airlifted it was taken in the plane to be placed into two banks in Switzerland to sustain our financial credibility and where are we today.

You know our foreign exchange is not cause of worry, We sometimes have a week of  jump in a foreign exchangeover six billion dollars and in 1990 we were short of even 2 billion dollars. That's where we have come up.

India our Bharat home to one-sixth of humanity is known as a land of hope and possibility women are reclaiming their right the system is helping them because women are known for indomitable perseverance, vigorous efforts and transformative vision.

 Smt. Droupadi Murmu’s election as the President of Bharat is electrifying and transformative. For the first time ever, world’s largest democracy is now led by a tribal woman.  It is satisfying that multi-pronged efforts to ensure that women from all walks of life are uplifted are bearing fruits.

Today, There is no walk of life where women are not excelling! There is now permanent commission for women in the Armed Forces as also women are now on forefront as fighter pilots in Indian Air Force, Commandos in Central Police Forces to name just a few.

I am from Sainik school Chittorgarh I joined Sainik school in 1962, never imagined girls will be joining school. They are joining Sainik school and the progress is that extent that the Mathura has Sainik school only for girls. Really have come a long way!

 India’s share of female pilots in civil aviation is among the highest in the world, and about twice as many as that of the US!

I went to ISRO along with Dr. Sudesh, I was amazed number of female scientist they have I met group of women who contributed massively to the success of Chandrayaan- 3.

And you know it. It takes a huge effort for a rocket to take off. You took off 40 years ago it takes a huge effort to come out of the gravitational force you are out of it. Therefore, not the sky but the space is limit I have no doubt you will do so contributing for the nation.

 In September 2023, during the special session of Parliament, the historic Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam was passed by both Houses after 27 long years of effort. There will now be one-third representation of women in the Lok Sabha and in the state legislatures.

Look at what will happen now in Lok Sabha 1/3 and more it cannot be never be less than 1/3 third because that is reserve in state legislature you will have there for opportunities to be part of policy formulation and that will change the course of history of the Globe. This is epochal development.

When there was a debate in rajya Sabha, I thought I must do something that can impact your gender. I made 17 women parliamentarians to sit in my chair, I ensured that the table office was all of your gender this sent a huge message.

Each of the women parliamentarians who sit in my chair exemplified highest standards, they indicated they could occupy the chair for time to come that is the beginning.It is time to push towards making the whole system more gender responsive and gender sensitive- this holds for all public institutions and not just the Parliament.

We have seen the situation by and large the other gender to which I belong as a tendency to dominate by false sense of superiority that myth has been demolished. And when you are made to lose a ground it is not easy but the good thing is in our country this is taking place in a systematic manner to change the country of our size is not easy but the visionary Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi took it to himself that I will care for the girl child ‘Beti Padhao’ I must therefore ensure toilet in every house you come from very elevated society but by your organisation you are deeply connected to ground reality are helping those women, so you know what is the absence of toilet in a house what is meant by absence of gas connection in house. What is meant by not having a tap water in the house all these big changes have come in this country all aim that empowering women.

India is only country in the world that has constitutionally structured democracy at all level village, panchayat, district and Central. Women who had the occasion to participate in Panchayat municipalities they are now ready become member of the assembly trends to be members in Lok Sabha this legislation will prove  a boon for them in the process boon to the country.

Economic transformation will take place when women will work more and more women when they start working as entrepreneurs as corporate heads contributing any manner they feel appropriate economy will take Quantum jump.

The countries is focusing on Quantum computing, the country is focusing on green hydrogen mission. We are grappling with disruptive technology when I thought for my position I should be more informed with these technology is the presentation was made to me I can share it with you it was by three women scientist so passionate about their work in a missionary mode then I got an idea they were thinking for long time that stream maths, science, technology, engineering your gender were keeping away no longer you are spinal strength also of steam. Promotion of economic nationalism. Through your august organisation, I appeal to mothers and sisters to nurture economic nationalism in mission mode.

 Promoting women's economic justice and closing gender gaps in the world of work are key to achieving Sustainable Development.  When more women work, economies grow.

If I look around parliamentarians, governance models, politicians, associations I find your tribe your gender is more eminently suited to bring about this transformation our commitment to nationalism has to be taught by you you have to be nationalistic by your approach there is no option but to be nationalistic if there is a voice against nationalism such an narrative has to be nipped into the bud. But economic nationalism is quint essential facet of nationalism of our economy.

No one is better than people present here your gender what a great price we are paying for importing item that are available in this country right from chairs, carpet, toys, curtains all kinds of items we are purchasing from other country important them they can be made here but you can motivate a system you can generate an ecosystem. We shall not important item which is made in this country it is happening because financially it is advantages and we compromise economic nationalism only because you will get some financial advantage if you are group forms a thing tank I can assure you for an exchange train because of this avoidable import of item which are made here will be more than hundreds of billions of dollars.

You will be contributing greatly to our foreign exchange I persuading everyone  including your consorts. Let us believe in economic nationalism. Let us not yield to the temptation of making a quick buck or fast money at the cost of our nation.

There are two disadvantages, first is Immoral to import an item that can be made here you are snatching work from hands of people adversely impacting employment potential of this country and secondly you are coming in the way of entrepreneurship growth. Some of you are engaged in making these item which can be imported from outside they may have tendency to dump here. There maybe some financial advantage look at the kind of work impact it will have on your contribution on national economy I am sure if you your member decide ultimately who is doing it the larger public is not doing it this is done at and accomplish by people we know small category of people is doing it you can sensitise them you can imbibe in them in split of nationalism.

Let us believe in local is vocal, we vocal about local bleeding ‘Sab Desi’ and secondly you will all appreciate imagine raw material is living our site India is a country that exports raw material no country will export from material for money we must at value to our raw material we must add value in this country it will generate employment these two aspects.

I can tell you, there is no better audience to make this appeal then the audience the benefit which I have today and I am sure you will act as  ambassadors of this country to promote economic nationalism.

You can shape course of the corporates course of the industry course of business Commerce and trade and once this catches of trust me it will be geometric.

All of you are accomplished a little otherwise family would not have allowed you to step out of the safe heavens. You have chosen to do so with adaptability with acceptability and with impact and now that it has been structured it has made headway.

The entire world is stunned with our growth, the entire world never imagined that India's economy will be at this  rise will have this kind of infrastructure such kind of highways such kind of technology penetration. Our direct digital transactions are  4 times of the transactions of USA UK France and Germany taken together. Our per capita internet consumption is more than that of USA and China taken to together.

 Just a decade ago you are 40 years old when you are 30 year old India was a country in fragile 5 look at where we are we are in big five ahead of Canada, UK, France in coming years will be ahead of Japan and Germany but that is not our goal our goal is to be at number one.

Our target is Bharat@2047 ine Amrit Kaal form foundation is being laid you can see it all around this place itself is indication and therefore, I appeal to you be in proactive mode everything will fall in line take note of nation interest.

I am grateful for making available  to me this great platform because I know mother can bring a big change a wife can bring a big change a daughter can bring a big change a sister can bring a big change but if they  converse that change will be transformative the change will be amazing that change will help us to reclaim the status Bharat had thousands of years ago that is we were Global leader in thought in actions in knowledge and for the world

Thank you so much!



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