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Mar 08, 2013 at 09:13am IST

Educating girls is the best way to bring progress for women, says Shashi Tharoor

New Delhi: On the occasion of International Women's Day, Minister of State for Human Resources Development and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that education of girls is the best way to bring about progress for women. "If you educate a boy, you educate a person. If you educate a girl, you educate a family, transform a community, you change society," Tharoor said.

He added that the gender gap in the society needed to be narrowed down. "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 said.

Tharoor said the government was making all efforts 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 added.

Earlier in March, the HRD Ministry has written to states asking them to ensure that self-defence training is part of the physical education curriculum for girls in schools. "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," Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor said in the Rajya Sabha on March 1.

"This is indeed a very legitimate concern," he said, adding that physical education should be for both genders. NCE should be included," he had said.

(With additional information from PTI)