Trinamul Congress Rajya Sabha MPs are Mamatabala Thakur, Md Nadimul Haque, Sushmita Dev and Sagarika Ghosh.
Advocating her case on women’s education and empowerment, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said no country can progress unless its women are strong and take part in social development with men.
She was addressing a gathering to commemorate the 175th anniversary of Bethune Collegiate School at Netaji Indoor stadium this afternoon. John Eliot Drinkwater Bethune founded the Calcutta Female School in 1848, which later became Bethune Collegiate School to spread education among Indian women. Miss Banerjee said, “Women can manage homes and do work outside with efficiency and sincerity.
There is no job which women cannot do and for the development of the country women should take part alongside men,” said the country’s only woman chief minister. She presented Bangaratna to Bethune Collegiate School for its service to educate women for the past 175 years.
Referring to the dark days when women were not allowed to go to school, she said, “Women were not allowed to go to school and Indians like Raja Ram Mohun Roy and Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar fought against the evil practices that were prevalent in society then.
While Roy took the leading role in the abolition of sati, Vidyasagar was the key figure in spreading women education in India.” Talking about Bengal’s rich culture and heritage, she said, “You will not get any other state that has produced scholars, intellectuals, poets and revolutionaries.
Rabindranath Tagore gave up his knighthood in protest against the Jalianwalla Bagh massacre while poet Nazrul spoke about equality of men and women through his poems. “It is our duty to follow in the footprints of these great men,” she maintained.
Lauding the role played by the Bethune Collegiate School, she said, “From the dark days till today, the school has played a major role in spreading women’s education in India. We are blessed to join such an auspicious ceremony,” she maintained.
Trinamul Congress Lok Sabha chief whip Sudip Badyopadhyay, state ministers for education and industry, Bratya Basu and Dr Shashi Panja, Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi, home secretary BP Gopalika, commissioner of police Vineet Goyal were present on the occasion.
Bethune Collegiate School authorities have planned a yearlong programme to celebrate the 150th year of the school.