"Women have a very important role to play in the society. A change is needed in the society's outlook towards women. They need to be provided with safe and favourable environment in which they can nurture their talents and contribute towards nation-building," Mukherjee said at a function in Allahabad.
    
He said that women's literacy rate was much lower than that of men's and efforts were needed to correct this.     
Voicing concerns over the quality of education in the country, Mukherjee said that the Right to Education was not just about getting students enrolled in institutions, but also to impart knowledge that would enable the youth ‘to rise above prejudices and channel their energies towards the betterment of the country’.
    
The President was speaking at the Jagat Taran Girls Inter College in Allahabad, where he inaugurated a new building and also unveiled a statue of Chintamani Ghosh, founder of the legendary 'Indian Press' which used to publish 'Saraswati' – a Hindi literary magazine of repute.
    
Recalling first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's statement that ‘the path towards building a great nation starts from the classrooms of schools’, the President said that ‘the Right to Education Act of 2009 only fulfilled the dream that our leaders had expressed in the Constitution which came into force in 1950’.
    
"Our young people are second to none when it comes to talent and ability. They are also brought up in a culture that values honesty and commitment.
    
"But, we also need to tell them that the value of their learning is not merely in the money that they make with the help of their skills," he said.
    
"We need to help our young people to evolve into citizens who respect humanity and who can contribute towards nation-building without falling prey to tendencies which lead to strife," he said.

(Agencies)

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