Chennai: Calling upon the fresh woman candidates to set high goals for establishing their future, Chief Minister M K Stalin urged them not to blindly accept everything that was told to them but raise questions with a rational approach and develop a tendency to criticize anything with a scientific bent of mind.
Speaking at the 104th convocation of Queen Mary’s College in Chennai on Tuesday, Stalin told the young graduates not to put an end to the education with the degree that they had received but pursue more knowledge and obtain higher qualifications with a view to not just benefitting from it but helping others, too, grow in life.
Recalling the times when women were denied education and made to confine themselves to the kitchen, he credited the government led by the Justice Party with ushering in the changes 100 years back and recalled Periyar E V Ramasamy wanting books to be given to the hands that held the ladle.
Stating that the vignette of 3,259 young women, most of them first generation graduates, receiving their degrees in 21 different subjects was the fruits of 100 years of struggle. This was not achieved easily but by overcoming obstacles thrown at the progress of women in the name of religion and culture, he said.
We had come a long way from the days when girls were married off at the age of eight or ten by enacting laws banning child marriage and that was why it was the responsibility of the first generation graduates to ensure that the future generations too received education, he said
The degree that they students had received was not an honour but a basic right and successive DMK governments had come up with schemes for the development of women, a traditional that still continued, Stalin said, referring to the plethora of measures, starting with the bestowing of property rights on daughters by the government led by M Karunanidhi.
It was in continuation of the measures that the scheme allowing free buses for women was introduced to uplift women in many ways by laying the foundation for their economic independence, he said adding that it had helped many women pursue higher education, take up employment and start small business ventures.
Referring to the government another scheme 'Pudhumai Penn’ (Revolutionary Woman), he said the number of students enrolling in the college had gone up because of it and 1,0390 students in the second and third year of study had benefited out of the scheme.
Announcing that the government would build a hostel inside the campus itself to help the young women enrolling in courses to realize their college dreams, he told the student that the knowledge they gained in college would lift them in their lives and the self-confidence they attained would help them live with their heads held high....