Lucknow, The Yogi Adityanath government will dedicate the upcoming Navratri festival to women’s safety, dignity and empowerment by launching ‘Mission Shakti’ on October 17.
The initiative will begin in ‘Shardiya Navratri’ and will continue for the next six months till the ‘Chaitra Navratri’ in April.
The government spokesman said in a statement that various programmes will be organised from the Gram Panchayats to industrial units, school campuses to government offices, from the Durga Puja pandals to Ramlilas to reaffirm the faith and resolve towards the women power.
As many as 23 departments, including basic education, secondary education, higher education, MSME, other government and non-government agencies will be participating in the programmes.
Private cab operators will also be partners in this initiative.
Short films, street plays, safety pledge, sensitization about the women’s laws and a public display of inspirational stories of women will mark the events during the drive.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that the Mission Shakti should start with mass awareness programmes during the ‘Shardiya Navratri’ that begins on October 17 and celebrates the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura, symbolizing the victory of good over evil.
The Chief Minister has directed all the departments to prepare their respective action plans to execute the mission.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Avanish Awasthi said the special awareness drive will aim to boost the morale of women and children and empower them by making them aware of their rights.
The idea is to also highlight the state government’s sensitivity in handling cases related to them while ensuring the strictest action against the culprits.
The drive has been announced in the backdrop of the uproar over a 19-year-old Dalit woman’s alleged gang-rape and murder in Hathras. The state government has set up a special investigating team (SIT), recommended investigation by the CBI and arrested all the four accused.
Awasthi said that along with the Director General of Police Hitesh Chandra Awasthi, he held a meeting to prepare an outline for the drive. He said that additional DG (Women Power Line-1090) Neera Rawat made a presentation on carrying out the drive successfully.
“For wider reach of this special awareness drive, 11 other departments like medical education, technical education, vocational education, higher education, basic education, secondary education, labour, employment exchange, Panchayati Raj, rural development and information and public relations department have also been roped in for this nine-day campaign,” he said.
He further added that rights and laws related to women and children will be publicised through police stations and other government departments; posters will also be put up at different schools, colleges, universities and other training centres and at Panchayats, where women’s involvement is in large numbers in urban as well as rural areas.
A senior police official said that workshops will be organised to make women and children aware of the security measures to keep them safe and to sensitise them to speak out when they are victimised.