New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) Airline flights operated by all-women crew, employers handing out flowers and chocolates to women employees and marches demanding stringent laws to ensure safety of women -- these were some of the activities across the country on International Women's Day Friday.
Functions were organised across the country on the occasion. In Delhi, activists took out a march from parliament to Mandi House, demanding stringent laws to ensure the safety of women.
Reports from across the country indicate that many private firms handed out flowers and chocolates to women employees Friday, to mark International Women's Day and offer a token of appreciation to women staff.
The Uttar Pradesh assembly saw the passing of a resolution committing the state to the safety and security of women, and vowing to end discrimination and the practice of dowry.
In Mumbai, Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff and actor-director Renuka Shahane felicitated three women -- Sindhutai Sapkal, Parimala Bhat and Sandhya Purecha.
While Sapkal has raised many orphan children, Bhat brings out a newspaper in Braille that expands the worlds of blind people. Bhat is herself visually impaired.
Sandhya Purecha, a Bharatnatyam dancer, has been actively involved in spreading this classical dance form.
The Thiruvananthapuram-headquartered HLL Lifecare Ltd launched a popular oral contraceptive pill, "Saheli" on e-commerce portals, so women could have easier access to it.
Many NGOs also had special functions on the day. Plan India launched a website to aid fund-raising for the education of girl children.
State-run Air India and private airline Spice Jet operated special all-women flights Friday.
At Odisha capital Bhubaneswar, students of the National Service Scheme (NSS) organized a self-defence camp for women students.
A massive human chain was formed on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, in Balianta and Tikarpada, to create awareness for the need for a violence- and liquor-free society that would be safe for women.
Odisha Chief Minister Biju Patnaik launched a special bus service Friday between the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack that would be used exclusively by women passengers.
In Bangalore, seminars were organized on the occasion, and street plays held at Cubbon Park.
At Agartala, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar of Tripura, who returned to power for the fifth time recently with a massive mandate, said the state had been making sincere efforts for the welfare of women. He noted how the literacy rate of women in the state had increased by 18.2 percent in a decade, and now stood at 83.15 percent.
In Himachal Pradesh, police launched an all-woman quick action force to handle crime that affected women.
Not all the news from across the country on Women's Day was pleasant, though.
In Kerala, a man who lost an alimony case in a family court in Kannur vented his ire at the woman judge. He took off his footwear, wrapped it in a newspaper, and handed it over to a clerk in the court, asking that it be handed over to the judge as a gift.
The gesture caused a commotion in the court.