'Raised Marriage Age to Enable Girls to Study Further': PM Modi on Empowering Women With New Schemes

© AP Photo / Ajit SolankiYoung Indian brides get ready prior to their wedding organized by a local agency in the village of Vadiya, about 240 kilometers (149 miles) from Ahmedabad, India, Sunday, March 11, 2012
Young Indian brides get ready prior to their wedding organized by a local agency in the village of Vadiya, about 240 kilometers (149 miles) from Ahmedabad, India, Sunday, March 11, 2012 - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.12.2021
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With a vision to empower women at the grassroots level in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched several initiatives and schemes that will provide them with the necessary skills, incentives, and resources.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that his government's recent decision to raise the legal age of marriage for girls across the country from 18 to 21 has been undertaken to enable them to study further.
While addressing a public rally attended by hundreds of women in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj, Prime Minister Modi said that before the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power there was "mafia raj" (mafia rule) and "goonda raj" (goon rule) in the state which led to women's exploitation.

"Women bore the brunt of this and could not move about freely. Yogi Adityanath [Uttar Pradesh state chief] cracked down on such elements and today, women can move about freely and securely. Uttar Pradesh state now has safety and security and immense possibilities. It can no longer be pushed back", Modi said.

Modi also talked of the several measures being undertaken by his government for women's welfare.

"We abolished the practice of triple talaq [Islamic way of divorcing a wife] for Muslim sisters. We set up over 700 fast track courts for rape cases and we also removed the ban on women working in the mining sector", he added.

During the event, the prime minister launched several women-centric initiatives and also transferred around $132 million (INR 10 billion) into the bank account of various self-help groups (SHGs), and beneficiaries under various schemes that will benefit around 1.6 million women and provide assistance to girls.
He also laid the foundation stones of 202 Supplementary Nutrition (take-home ration) manufacturing units in 43 districts of Uttar Pradesh to facilitate proper nourishment for women and benefit farmers.
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