On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday offered his greetings to all the women of the country saying that they were playing an important role in building a ‘New India’.

“Your active participation and blessings are very important in creating a new culture of New India,” PM Modi said at the National Women Livelihood Meet 2019 in Varanasi.

He said the International Women’s Day has created a new consciousness and enthusiasm about women empowerment all over the world.

Advocating for his party, PM Modi said the BJP government is devoted solely to women empowerment.

He said various empowerment schemes have been implemented for women at every stage of their life right from their birth.

Women, be it from cities or villages, are being provided with opportunities for entrepreneurship, the PM said.

“The Deendayal Upadhyay National Rural Livelihood Mission is being run by the government to provide self-employment opportunities in villages. Under this, millions of women are running an important force to overcome poverty in India,” PM Modi said.

Lauding the BJP rule, he said, “Five years ago, the self-help groups received a loan of Rs 23,000 crore across the country, but now the amount has gone up to Rs 44,000 crore”.

He said over 31 lakh women were trained in the cooperative sector in 2018 and more than 9 lakh women were given skill development in agricultural, science centres and other areas.

He further said his government has taken the decision to raise the duration of maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.

Our government has changed the rules so that women can work securely during night shifts, the PM said, adding that nurseries for children have been set up in offices for working mothers.

PM also said his government has decided to give permanent commission to women in some sectors of armed forces.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the ambitious ‘Kashi Vishwanath Mandir Vistarikaran-Saundarayakaran Yojana’ (Kashi Vishwanath Temple Extension and Beautification Plan) in Varanasi that would be rolled out in four phases.

He kick-started the proposed project by putting five bricks with the name of the temple inscribed on it in the presence of Governor Ram Naik, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and state Bharatiya Janata Party chief Mahendra Nath Pandey.