New Delhi, March 8: "If you educate a boy you educate a person. If you educate a girl, you educate a family, transform a community, you change society," said Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resources Development on International Women's Day.
He opined that the gender gap which exists in society should be reduced. "The government is trying to do a lot of that but there still is a gender gap. One out of every three Indian women still can't read and write. That's 65 per cent. Whereas 82 per cent men can. We really need to narrow that gap," he was quoted saying.
According to Tharoor, the government is putting in its best effort to educate girls. "We're trying to do everything we can to keep girls in schools. Get them into school, to keep them in school, to give them incentive so that they will come out educated and able, therefore, to be empowered in our society," Tharoor said.
Recently, Tharoor had made an announcement that self- defence should be made mandatory for girls in schools. He had written to the all the states instructing them to implement this rule. "The ministry wrote to all education secretaries in the states in January, saying specifically, from the upper primary level, physical training classes should include self defence for girls," he said.
"This is indeed a very legitimate concern," he said. He said that physical education should be made compulsary for both genders.