New Delhi: BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Saturday urged the women to graduate from being home-makers to becoming nation-makers as they have both the potential and the capacity to change the destiny of the country.
Emphasing on health and education of women, Modi stressed they should have the right to take decisions on the matters concerning their lives, such as career choices, timing of marriages and size of families.
The Gujarat chief minister was interacting with women from 1,500 places in India and abroad, on the occasion of the International Women's Day, through video conferencing from the Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters in his second edition of the "Chai Pe Charcha" programme.
"If we educate women, we are educating not just a family but educating also the generation," said Modi while stressing importance of women's education.
To a question in the wake of recent attacks on women, he said safety and security of women is the joint responsibility of the administration and the police. Noting that discrimination was a big problem faced by women, Modi salso suggested that there should be more women in legal profession as well as in police.
"One of the big problems is discrimination. There is one attitude towards the son and another towards the daughter. To end this discrimination, there is need of social awareness," he said.
Modi also talked of changing the life of rural people, to a query on his priorities as prime minister, by providing them uninterrupted electricity, water, toilets, smoke-free kitchens and other basic facilities as also schools and primary health centres. He called for an end to the open air toilets women have to use today in the villages.
He said there should not be any "compromise" on issues concerning women. "(They) should have freedom of birth, freedom of education...freedom to choose time of marriage, freedom to choose career. They should have a say in deciding size of family," he said.
Reminding women of their immense power, Modi urged them to turn out in large numbers on the polling day, and asking them to associate with the Election Commission's voters awareness campaign.
"If women of India decide to shape future of the country by playing an effective role during the elections, no vote-bank politics will succeed," he said.
Modi said women should be financially empowered and should have the economic freedom as that alone will make them self-reliant and independent. He called for a qualitative shift in empowerment of women.
In response to a question by India's first woman IPS officer Kiran Bedi suggesting establishment of a school on political governance like technical and management schools, Modi said it was a good suggestion.