15th August 2014 was indeed a special day; our dream of seeing Shri Narendra Modiji as Prime Minister delivering the Independence Day address from the Red Fort came true. Karyakartas of the Bharatiya Janata Party and supporters from across the country worked tirelessly in the past year to achieve this. The nation blessed my party to be not just the single largest party but also ensured that we crossed the 272 mark in the Lok Sabha.
Being one of the first time Parliamentarians, and a young one at that, I entered the Lok Sabha with enormous responsibility as well as expectations to live up to. I am grateful to the citizens of my Mumbai North Central constituency for bestowing their faith on my shoulders. Their belief and love for me inspires me to work for the welfare of my constituency as well as my country at large.
At the very beginning of the 16th session of the Lok Sabha, all the MPs including the 315 first time Parliamentarians were encouraged to perform their best in all upcoming sessions. Apart from which, we were encouraged to interact with various Ministers and convey to them issues of our constituency.
As a woman, I feel inclined to represent and speak up on the issue of women’s safety and partake in the empowerment of women in the country. I’m particularly glad there was a resounding importance given to women and girl child in the Prime Minister’s Independence day speech. He mentioned that it is a shame that our sex ratio is 940 girls per thousand boys and emphasized the need to put an immediate end to the occurrence of rapes in our country. The strong emphasis on empowerment of women and girl child has set the tone for the future work of the Government under Shri Narendra Modiji’s leadership. I myself had the opportunity of speaking on this issue in the Lok Sabha during a discussion on the ‘Atrocities against Women and Children in India’. In specific I suggested that the National Commission for Women be given more powers and autonomy to discharge their duties. I also requested the Minister for Women and Child Development to ensure that the newly launched initiative of national grievance cell is taken to every district and taluk. Also, I spoke on the plight of the Anganwadi workers across the country and enquired about the regularization of their posts via a question in the Lok Sabha.
Another highlight of the PM’s speech at the Red Fort was the stress he laid on indegenious manufacturing. He urged that we make best use of the abundant skills and talent available and ensure that India becomes a manufacturing hub. Made in India must become the new culture that our young must be proud of. During the discussion on the Union Budget in the Lok Sabha, I thanked the Finance Minister for giving due credit to the PM’s vision and ensuring adequate allocation for boosting manufacturing in India.
Coming from a city like Mumbai where there is a continuous conflict between environment and development I felt it necessary to raise questions relating to environment including encroachment of forestland, online application system for environmental and forest clearance as well as issues of Mangroves and Mithi in Mumbai. In addition to which I pursued various issues related to animal welfare including revision of veterinary syllabus, banning of Rabbit fur import to India and ensuring the construction of retirement homes for army/ police horses and dogs. All in all, I wrote 6 letters on a wide range of animal welfare issues directed to concerned Ministries including that of Agriculture, Defense and Finance.
I must put on record the enormous support I have received from senior parliamentarians across party lines. The first session of Parliament as well as the PM ‘s Independence day address has set the tone for the development of the country in the coming few years.
Together with all of you I look forward to doing my bit in this great national endeavor.
– Poonam Mahajan