Asserting that mere laws weren’t enough to tackle crime against women, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday said gender equality must began at home and it was the need of hour to change the mindset of society.

Addressing state level Legal Awareness programme of HP Women Commission, he said the girl child’s birth should be celebrated with same fervor as that of a male child.

“Even the ancient Indian traditions and values gave due respect to the women and there are almost no or very little incidents of crime against the women at that time,” he said.

Thakur said collective efforts were required to ensure women empowerment as given opportunity, women can excel in every field and they have proved this time and again. “Although several laws have been enacted for women empowerment and checking crime against them still a lot more needed to be done,” he said.

He said mere making of new laws was not enough as if that was the case then there won’t have been crime against women, given the present stricter laws.

“Instead there is the need to change the mindset of our society,” he said.

He said the girls should be educated from the very beginning regarding their rights and laws to safeguard their rights. Further, the participation of women in decision making process was vital for their empowerment.

“The government started Gudiya Helpline 1515 for checking crime against the women and they can call on this toll free number at the time of distress. In addition, Shakti App has also been launched for empowerment of the women,” he said. Thakur said in order to change the mindset of the society against the girl child, the government has increased the assistance amount given under the ‘Beti Hai Anmol Yojna’ to BPL families from Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000.

“With the growth in education, slowly but steadily the mindset regarding the girl child is changing which is a welcome sign,” he said.

Thakur said women constitute half of the population and it is difficult even to think of development of the society without welfare and empowerment of the women.

Thakur said that the State Commission for Women was rendering a great service for empowerment of women and also for making them aware regarding their rights.

The Commission receives about 1000 cases every year out of which over 600 are redressed by the Commission amicably.

As many as nine women awareness camps and five legal awareness camps were organized in the state during the tenure of present government to create awareness amongst the women about their rights.

Chief Minister also honoured women achievers Anchal Thakur, Geeta Verma, Preeti Kanwar, Priyanka Negi, Sanjana Geol, Seema Devi, Seema Thakur, Shashi Negi and Sushma Verma for excelling in different fields.

Chief Minister unveiled the ‘Logo’ of Himachal Pradesh State Commission for Women which is designed by Dharmender of Mandi district.

State Commission for Women, Daizy Thakur, Social Justice and Empowerment minister Rajiv Saizal, Mayor Municipal Corporation Shimla Kusum Sadrate were also present on the occasion.