Talking points of H.E. Mr Alexander M.Kadakin, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to India, on the occasion of the International Women’s Day Celebration. The Russian Centre of Science and Culture, New Delhi, March 5, 2010.

Your Excellency Smt. Prenet Kaur, Minister of State for External Affairs,

Your Excellency Dr Farooq Abdullah, Honourable Minister for New and Renewable Energy,

Other dignitaries on the dais,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

Let me take this opportunity to convey my heartfelt greetings and congratulations on the International Women’s Day to all ladies present here, first of all, to Her Excellency Smt. Preneet Kaur. On this day we stress the role women play in our life and celebrate their economic, political, social and other achievements.

Woman has many roles in the modern society: she is a mother, a wife, a daughter, a colleague. It is her presence that brings difference to every walk of life. Her gentle and caring touch makes home a place where every member of the family finds love and comfort. At work she demonstrates the same zeal, ambition and hard work as many male colleagues.

One should not forget that there is always a woman behind every successful man. Her role is sometimes not quite obvious and visible but it is her courage, love and determination that give strength to a man to move forward, to create and innovate. I would like to site an example of Sofia Tolstaya, the wife of the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, who selflessly stood by his side for her entire life. It was her who repeatedly copied the numerous drafts of “War and Peace” by hand and took care of the vast family.

Unfortunately, social equality and social justice are still a matter of concern in many developing and even developed countries. Balanced government policy, education and growth of self-consciousness are the way to women empowerment. It is our duty and obligation to provide women with opportunities to follow a chosen path in life, to fulfill their aspirations and dreams. In this regard the Women’s reservation bill which is being prepared right now stands as a very important initiative of the Indian government aimed at expanding women’s presence in Lok Sabha and state assembles.

Both Russia and India have outstanding women who have influenced the course of history at crucial points for our countries and peoples. Indira Gandhi, Aruna Asaf Ali, Valentina Tereshkova, Sonia Gandhi, President Pratibha Patil are just a few to be named here. Besides being great personalities in their own right, they also contributed to well-being, prosperity and grandeur of their respective countries and peoples. Our dear guest today, Smt. Prenet Kaur, also gives an excellent example of the heights a woman can achieve.

In conclusion, I would like to once again congratulate all women and express my gratitude for making our life brighter and happier.

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