Economic independence as important as marriage: CM Stalin

Deccan Chronicle.  | DC Correspondent

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Chief Minister M K Stalin interacting with students of Hindu College in Pattabiram (DC)

Chennai: Economic independence was as important as marriage for women, Chief Minister M K Stalin told college students, urging them to make use of the educational opportunities in the State to the fullest to create eligible job opportunities that would stand them in good stead all through the lives and also enable them to make a mark with their individual identities.

Speaking at the launch of the second phase of the Moovalur Ramamirtham Ammaiyar memorial ‘Puthumai Penn’ (Modern Woman) scheme at the Hindu College at Pattabiram in Thiruvallur district on Wednesday, Stalin stressed on the need for women students to pursue their studies studiously without any diversion in mind and utilize college education for upward mobility in life.

The scheme, under which girls from government schools would get a monthly assistance of Rs 1000 when they pursue higher education courses, was envisaged to prevent girls from dropping out after school, he said, adding that the scheme had encouraged 12,000 girls, who would have otherwise dropped out due to family circumstances, to continue their studies.

Also, the scheme had impelled 10,146 girls who left education after school in the last five years to join colleges and institutes of higher education, he said, giving a breakup of the social categories of students benefited by the monthly assistance. Of the total 1,56,016 beneficiaries, 48,660 belonged to the Backward Classes, 50,550 to the Most Backward Classes, 44,880 to the Schedule Castes and 1,900 to the Scheduled Tribes.

‘Puthumai Penn’ scheme exemplified the Dravidian Model of governance by the DMK government that was carrying forward the vision of the Dravidian Movement that strove for women’s emancipation through its policy decisions and by creating an idea of equal education at a time when communal, caste, race and gender discriminations prevailed, besides the practice of untouchability, Stalin said.

Recalling the life and struggle of Moovalur Ramamirtham, who was sold for Rs 10 when she was a child, the Chief Minister said that under the scheme named after the revolutionary, modern day women were getting Rs 1000 a month. Ramamirtham was associated with Periyar E V Ramasamy and took part in the 1938 struggle for saving Tamil by walking from Trichy to Chennai, he said.

The history of the Dravidian movement was the history of Tamil Nadu as it was that movement that fought for equal opportunities for all, Stalin said, exulting over three nuggets of latest information that he received. As he was distributing orders for appointment of DSPs on Tuesday, he learnt that 13 of the 17 persons who had qualified for the job were women, who marched up to him holding their heads high to receive the orders.

The second news shared with him by Minister for Higher Education K Ponmudi was that after the Puthumai Penn scheme was launched, women’s enrollment for higher education went up by 27 per cent and the third one, shared by Milk and Dairy Development Minister S M Nasar, was that he had visited the same college where the event was being held as a guest at their annual college day function 33 years ago when he was a MLA.