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Kashmiri women are a symbol of resistance against terror: Sonia
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | September 10, 2007 20:25 IST
United Progressive Alliance chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images] on Monday praised the courage and spirit of Kashmiri women who had "been through the worst during the violence in the state", during a visit to the valley to inaugrate a women's empowerment conference.
She was accompanied by Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Minister for Water Resources Saifuddin Soz, Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury and member of Congress working committee M M. Jacob.
"I have always felt happiness in visiting Kashmir but today I was taken over by a feeling of pride for being among the women of the valley who, by putting a brave face against all odds and difficult situations, had emerged as a symbol of resistance against terror for the entire womenfolk of the country."
"Kashmiri women have suffered much during the last two decades. It is the responsibility of the state and central governments to nurse these wounds. Already several measures have been taken in this direction. But more requires to be done to reach out to this important segment of the society," Sonia said while addressing the conference.
"Women always bear the brunt of any disaster, whether natural, social or political. It is they who have to suffer the most and at the same time keep their homes intact by gathering confidence and strength," Sonia said.
Referring to the confidence building measures taken by the government, the UPA chairperson said that plying of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakote buses had facilitated people to people contact.
She added, "People's support is necessary for the success of any political initiative. Militancy could not sustain before the determination of people."
Sonia exuded confidence that the state government, led by chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, will take required steps for the promotion of self-help groups for development of women. The Congress president said that although the loss of a human life could not be compensated, one could try to make the lives of the bereaved families easy.
Sonia asserted that the benefit of any welfare scheme should reach widows and orphans first and this task had to be accomplished with a missionary zeal.