New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the country was moving from women development to women-led development and emphasised that the dream of New India was where women were empowered, strong and an equal partner in the nation's overall development.
In his monthly radio address "Mann Ki Baat", he also urged women to create self-help groups for the GOBAR DHAN initiative which may become a source of income for the rural population.
"The aim of GOBAR-Dhan scheme is to ensure cleanliness in villages and generating wealth and energy by converting cattle dung and solid agricultural waste into Compost and Bio Gas," Modi said.
Speaking about International Womens' Day on March 8, the Prime Minister said: "There are many programmes that are held in our country and the world. Today the country is moving forward from the path of women development to women-led development."
Quoting Swami Vivekananda's saying that the idea of a perfect womanhood was perfect independence, Modi said the dream of New India was where the women were empowered.
"Today, it is our duty to ensure the participation of women in every field of life, be it social or economic life, it is our fundamental duty. We are part of a tradition where men were identified due to women-Yashoda-Nandan, Kaushalya-Nandan, Gandhari-Putra, these were identities of a son.
"Today, woman power has shown inner fortitude and self-confidence, has made herself self-reliant. Not only has she advanced herself but has carried forward the country and society to newer heights.
"After all, our dream of 'New India' is the one where women are strong and empowered and are equal partners in the development of the country," he said.
Referring to a suggestion from a listener, the Prime Minister urged countrymen to felicitate mothers and sisters who have completed 100 years on the occasion of International Women's day.
"Can a programme of paying respect for such centenarians be held and can't we reflect upon a life lived long?" he asked.
Hailing efforts of a group of women from Jharkhand who organised a hygiene campaign for an entire month and constructed 1.70 lakh toilets in just 20 days, Modi said they showed that women power was an integral component of the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'.
He mentioned the current budget in which an emphasis has been laid on turning 'waste to wealth' and 'waste to energy' through bio-gas.
"A target has been set to use cattle dung, agricultural waste, kitchen waste to produce Bio gas based energy. Under the GOBAR-Dhan Scheme, our farmer brothers and sisters will be encouraged to consider dung and other waste not just as a waste but as a source of income."