The government’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign is a way towards women empowerment, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan on Saturday said as he stressed on the importance of protecting and nurturing the girl child.
Speaking about this campaign of the government, which is celebrating its second anniversary by hosting a grand function “Ek Nayi Subah” at India Gate in New Delhi, Bachchan said, “It’s time we realise that half of the country’s population can’t be left behind by making them feel neglected and helpless. They should be equal partners in the country’s development.”
Quoting an old Sanskrit mantra, he said that women have been given the foremost place even in our religious beliefs as Saraswati is the symbol of knowledge, Lakshmi of wealth while Durga and Kali represent strength and power.
“In the present scenario, this imagination will become a reality only if the position of a man and a woman is equal in the society. Equal number of daughters should be born as sons and they should be raised and educated properly so that they are able to play their rightful role in life,” he said.
Bachchan, 73, said the real motive of the new slogan ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ is that there should be no discrimination between a son and a daughter and both should be considered assets of a family and given equal opportunities.
“We should encourage the thought that our families should do everything to protect and nurture the girl child... I consider this slogan a way to take forward the whole society and adopt the right perspective towards our women.
“Let’s pledge that we encourage the powerful within the so-called helpless to bloom and give them the chance to empower the whole country.”
Bachchan said Mahatma Gandhi always considered women a superior force as a man could never compete with them when it came to inner strength.
The actor also had an interesting chat with a group of girl students. At one time, when asked by a student how he became ‘Big B’, Bachchan reacted by sitting on the floor and quipped, “I am no ‘Big B’. It’s a term given by journalists.”
He had faced criticism when his name started doing the rounds as the host of the government’s planned cultural gala on its two-year anniversary but Bachchan clarified he was only hosting a small segment for ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, as he is attached to the campaign.