In an effort towards women empowerment, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday appealed to the nation to ‘Gift a Skill’ to sisters on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.
To protect a sister is to equip her to become economically self-reliant, to unshackle her from a cycle of dependency that is often her biological destiny, to gift her a skill that will see her through life’s challenges, he said.
“On auspicious day of Raksha Bandhan, I wish that the bonds of love and trust bind us all eternally. Raksha Bandhan is not a mere ritual but a sacred promise of protecting a sister, and shielding her from the uncertainties of life. With changing times, our understanding of what it means to “protect” a sister should also be re-imagined,’ he said.
‘Though women have always been contributing to the economy, their labour for the large part, not entered economic calculations. Hence, her work remains invisible and her status diminished. It is high time we change this narrative—because in her success lies the success of the nation,’ he said.
Mr Pradhan, emphasising the importance of women’s contribution in the economic growth of our country, appealed to people in a video released on his social media account.
He appealed brothers to gift a skill to their sisters this year instead of gifting her material things, which though high on emotive value, does little to empower her well-being.
‘Pay her fees for enrolment in a skills’ programme. Take her to a skill-counseling centre. Today, there are many avenues in both the private and government sectors—encourage her to explore these and discover her passion ensuring that she leads a life of dignity.
‘Embark on a mission of responsibility today that this should hold true not only for the sisters in your family but also for that sister who is your domestic help, who is your driver’s wife, who sells you vegetables, her daughters, who may not be as privileged as us. Give them the gift of knowledge, of hope, of possibilities,’ he pleaded.
The New India, as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, places women in the centre of our quest for economic growth. ‘ Let us join hands to build a skilled, capable and self-reliant workforce that keeps our sisters at the forefront. This Raksha Bandhan do gift a skill and protect your sister for life,’ he said.