Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that his government amended the POCSO Act to introduce death penalty for the rape of children below age 12, to ensure justice to victim daughters of the nation.
Speaking at the launch of the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan on National Panchayati Raj Day in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandla, PM Modi said, “The government has changed the law and introduced death sentence for rape. This government understands the sentiments of people and listens to their 'Mann Ki Baat'. There is a need for a social movement to teach our boys to respect the girls in the family”.
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“We should learn to respect our daughters in our families, improve their importance and also teach our sons to understand their responsibility. For this, all of us will have to start a social revolution,” he added.
Modi's remarks came in the wake of nationwide outrage over the rape and murder of a minor in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district and other similar incidents including a case in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh where the main accused is a BJP MLA.
Addressing the gathering, the prime minister urged the people and the authorities to work for the development of villages in the country. He also recalled the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi to draw home his point that Bapu always highlighted the importance of villages.
“Bapu always highlighted the importance of villages and spoke about ‘Gram Swaraj’. Panchayati Raj Day is an opportunity to fulfill Mahatma Gandhi’s dream,” PM Modi said.
He also urged the people to develop the villages along the lines of what Mahatma Gandhi had once wished for.
Stressing on education to children, the prime minister said that representatives of all panchayats should ensure that not a single child in village is bereft of education.
He also appealed to public representatives to focus on Jan Dhan, Van Dhan, Gobar Dhan – the three schemes launched by the Centre for the uplift of the poor in the villages.
Earlier, lPM Modi aunched the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan at Ramnagar in this tribal-dominated district of Madhya Pradesh on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day.
The Central government scheme aims at making rural local bodies self-sustainable, financially stable and more efficient.
The programme seeks to address critical gaps that hinder the success of Panchayats by enhancing their capacities and effectiveness, and promote devolution of powers and responsibilities.
On the occasion, Modi unveiled a roadmap for development of tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh over the next five years. Under the plan, Rs 2 lakh crore will be spent for development of areas under tribal panchayats.
The prime minister also laid the foundation stone for a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottling plant at Maneri in the district.
Modi also honoured panchayats for their achievements in implementing the government's e-governance scheme, making villages under their jurisdiction open defecation-free (ODF) and also smokeless by switching from conventional fuel to LPG.