Educating girls is the single most important thing that can be done to improve the world, minister of state for human resource development Shashi Tharoor said.
Delivering the Eighteenth Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture ‘Educating women-The quest for equality’ on Wednesday, Dr Tharoor said, “No action proven to do more for the human race than education of the female child. If you educate a boy, you educate a person, but if you educate a girl, you educate a family and benefit an entire community."
A UNESCO project demonstrated that giving women just a primary school education decreases child mortality by five per cent to 10%, Tharoor said in support of his statement.
Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir lamented that women in rural areas lack access to proper education and thus empowerment, ‘something which the women in urban centres have relatively achieved.’ “Still rural girls are groomed in the way that they would become good homemakers,” Kabir said.
Tharoor, who said schemes like mid-day meals, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, RTE are result of the churning between politics, policy making and judicial pronouncements, added, “Authority of law, whether it comes through legislation or judicial verdicts is an absolutely essential instrument of affecting social change.”
Stating that it is a matter of deep concern that even today nearly one out of three women in our country is illiterate and pointing that less number of eligible women pursue higher education, the minister said the ambition of the government is to ensure women participate in higher numbers in education.