NCW celebrates silver jubilee, state panels ‘disappointed’

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New Delhi, Feb 1: The National Commission for Women (NCW), which celebrated its silver jubilee on Wednesday, hosted an event attended by the members of the state women commission bodies.

However, the state representatives seemed to be disappointed with the one day seminar which was organised at the Vigyan Bhawan by the NCW.

A state commission head who did not wish to be named said that NCW’s programmes and the Union Women and Children Development Ministry’s initiatives are mostly given a miss at the state levels.

“State commissions are anyway toothless bodies, our powers are limited. I attended the other sessions but didn’t find them fruitful. I was hoping for more interaction with the national women’s body but doesn’t seem that to be happening,” the state panel chief told IANS on the sidelines of the event.

The event was also attended by Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi who interacted with the members who were representing various states. 

While she praised the performance of NCW and acknowledged some of the responses from the commission members, she appeared to be irked by questions asked to her by state women commission members, according to a participant. 

“The minister doesn’t have patience to listen to our issues and then she expects us to work according to the ministry’s orders. NCW should remember that it needs to work in collaboration with the states and this doesn’t seem to be happening,” said Preeti Bharadwaj, Vice Chairperson, Haryana State Commission for Women.

The state commissions also pitched that political ideologies should be kept aside while working for the uplift of women.

“The activities of NCW are not clear to the states … at least I can claim for my state. There is of course politicising of the women bodies. Political parties which rule the state and centre makes a major difference. However, this shouldn’t be the case when we talk about issues related to women and children,” said Jarjum Ete of the Arunachal Pradesh Women Commission.

Currently Rekha Sharma is serving as the acting Chairperson of NCW. The last NCW chief was Lalitha Kumaramangalam whose term expired in September last year.