Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani inaugurated the Woman Labour Conference – “Drushti 2023 in connection with Labour 20 of G20, organised by Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) at Thiruvananthapuram on May 22. More than 3,500 women participated. Delivering the inaugural address, she charged that in Kerala, women are killed at workplaces in police’s presence. She was referring to the brute murder, of Dr Vandana Das, on May 10, in the presence of the police, in Kottarakkara Government Hospital. She said it was shocking. Police, who are expected to save the people, did not discharge their duty. She said instructions are given to the state government to launch more Child Welfare Centres. Minister said that the State Government has been instructed to fill up 13 per cent of the vacancies for supervisory positions in 33,000 Anganvadis. Anganvadis need modernisation with the help of novel technologies. Prime Minister Mathruvandana Yojana is the best system for applying modern technology to find out the needy and extend the benefits directly to them. This system provided Rs 6000 to 7 lakh pregnant women. Central government is ready to give more financial aids if more beneficiaries are found out.
Minister added, Centre has instructed Kerala Government to launch more child welfare centres in agriculture and construction fields where women labour are large in number. Modi regime extends all financial grants to the state government, without fail, including Nirbhaya Funds, for the safety and security of women. Centre gave more than Rs 3,000 cr to Kerala to ensure nutritious food for girls. Minister regrets Kerala government does not show interest in mobile phone-based Poshan Tracker. Three months back, the Centre had asked the state to digitalise the Anganwadi. Thirty-nine thousand five hundred thirty-one girls were away from Anganvadi. When Aadhar was implemented, it came down to 15,658. In other words, they do not come under our educational regime. LDF government aims at the party’s interests and not the welfare of the people.
Minister came down heavily on Rahul Gandhi, saying that if he remains as the M.P. of Wayanad, the constituency will land up in the same fate as Amethi. He lost Amethi because he did not perform at all. He will repeat the same in Wayanad. People of Wayanad may avoid it.
Rahul was the M.P. of Amethi until he lost to Smriti Irani in 2019. Rahul has been winning Lok Sabha elections from Amethi constituency since 2004. In 2019, he contested from both Amethi and Waynad in Kerala. In Amethi, he lost to Smriti Irani and won Wayanad. He was disqualified as M.P. in March following his conviction and two-year jail sentence by a Gujarat court in a criminal defamation case. After the inauguration, Minister said that she had the “good fortune” of being the one to “send away” Rahul Gandhi from Amethi.
Union Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs V. Muraleedharan said, during his keynote address, that Kerala is ruled by a government which cheats the labour and exploits them as a tool for political capitalisation. He asked the state government to make sure that the women were safe in the workplace. G20 presidency for Bharat turns a movement into a mega initiative for the development of the entire society.
BMS state Women Convener Adv. S. Ashamol presided. BMS national organising secretary B. Surendra, former national president Adv. C.K. Saji Narayanan, national secretaries Anjali Patel and V. Radhakrishnan, state president C. Unnikrishnan, state general secretary G.K. Ajith, state secretary K. Chandralata and NGO Sangh sate secretary P. Arya spoke on the occasion. The conference passed various resolutions, including the demands for raising the state share, towards the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA, equal to the central share and increasing the benefits of the plantation labour. The participants submitted a memorandum before the Union Minister Smriti Irani pointing out the hardships in the work places. Minister assured them that the union government will always be with them to protect women and their employment.
Ministers Smriti Irani and V. Muraleedharan visited the parents of Dr. Vandana Das killed in Kottarakka Government Hospital on May 10. They assured the parents all possible assistance from the central government for ensuring justice for the deceased.
Meanwhile, National Commission for Women has formed a two-member commission led by Chairperson Rekha Sharma. They will visit Kerala shortly to enquire into the murder of Dr Vandana Das. Vandana’s parents had approached the Commission in this regard.