New Delhi, Nov 15: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said India could be a role model for the entire world because of its robust family value system which had successfully withstood the test of time.
Inaugurating the International Conference of Global Mothers-2019, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam–Family System and Role of Mother”, here, he expressed happiness over the theme of the conference saying it was a celebration of motherhood.
To stress the importance of equal rights to women, Mr Naidu quoted Mahatma Gandhi, who once wrote that, “the way we treat our women is an indicator of the richness of our culture.” The weakening of women would lead to the weakening of the family, society and the country, he said.
Holding that ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ had been the guiding light for the Indian family system since time immemorial, he said “the entire world is indebted to mothers and this is the reason that in all religions and in all parts of the world mothers hold a special position of relevance and reverence.”
Quoting from ancient texts such as the Vedas and Puranas, Mr Naidu said respect to women had been "central to our civilisation".
"In any family, be it nuclear or joint, united or extended; the mother is at the centre. She is the bond that holds the family together. By her dedication she converts the four walls of the house into the home where love, affection, respect for others, selfless contribution towards family, society and country exist."
Highlighting that all rivers were named after women, the Vice President said, “In our culture, women are considered not just equal to men, but in many respects, superior”.
However, somewhere along the way, our strong values had been weakened, he said and expressed concern on the rise in violence against women and abandonment and ill-treatment of elderly mothers.
The Vice President listed several steps for women empowerment taken by the Government, such as ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padao’, 50 per cent reservation in Local Self Governments and said much more needed to be done to protect women and give them an equal platform.
Speaking on the importance of family, Mr Naidu said our forefathers developed the best family model based upon the values of sacrifice, respect and togetherness and practiced the same for ages together.
Opining that Indian family system discourages individualism and encourages collectivism, he said India has grown and attained its current stature under the strong and supportive framework of its joint family system. "A strong family system can be the best possible solution to overcome several crippling social evils," he noted.
However, with the advent of urbanisation and modernisation, even in India, joint families were being fragmented.
“People are migrating in search of jobs and thus new family systems are emerging in the evolving socio-economic scenario, replacing the traditional joint family model,” he added.
Accepting that change was inevitable, Mr Naidu said whatever the family system, the core values that sustained and nourished Indian families for centuries together must never be compromised. Even if families are far away physically, they must always remain close to one another, firmly bonded in the eternal values of love, brotherhood and sacrifice, he advised.
The Vice President also called upon the younger generation to spend time with grandparents. “There is a need to curb the negative trend of not spending enough time with the grandparents due to mobile phones and TV,” he said.
The two-day conference is being organised by Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) in partnership with Foundation for Holistic Development in Academic Field (FHDAF) and Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal (BSM).
Dr Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA. Mr Mukul Kanitkar, National Organising Secretary, BSM, Mrs Madhuri Sahasrabudhe, Chairperson, FADF, Ms Geeta Gunde and mothers from several Central Asian and European countries were among those present, an official release said. (UNI)