Maneka Gandhi, the Union Cabinet Minister for Women and Child Development, doesn't give interviews too often.
So, when when she did an Ask Me Anything on Facebook today, to answer questions directly from users, she created quite a buzz on social media. Soon after her Facebook session, she started trending on Twitter.
Here's a look at some of the questions and her responses to it.
"All the violence is male generated," Gandhi said in response to a question, raising objections from many who pointed at the headline-dominating Sheena Bora murder case in which her mother Indrani Mukerjea is the main accused.
The minister said one of the ways to tackle violence is at the school stage. "So we have started something which will go into effect in a few months called Gender Champions: boys who have been particularly respectful and helpful to girls and deserve to be emulated and rewarded. These prizes will be given to a person in each class annually. It can also be given to a girl who has been outstanding in her bravery/attitude etc," she announced.
On Women Harassment:
A Mumbai resident told Gandhi that while traveling in local train, he has observed hawkers get into the ladies compartment and harass women. The minister asked him to send details and pictures, so that she can send it to the Railway Ministry.
On Saudi Diplomat Case:
She described the alleged rape of two Nepalese maids by a Saudi Arabian diplomat in Gurgaon as an "eye-opener" and said that the central government would see what safeguards could be put in place to prevent such incidents in future.
On Animal Torture:
When Gandhi was asked what would be the 'best action to punish a person torturing his own pet animal', she advised the person to complain to the police under Section 429 IPC and Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. She also suggested that people could write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Rescuing Children:
The minister spoke about 'CHILDLINE', a helpline to rescue children. "It operates in 352 Districts and it runs a Helpline which is 1098. It has helped rescue lakhs of children in distress. If you believe that the child is being forced, is unhappy, is being molested or has been kidnapped..do a little bit of research as to where she/he lives and then phone CHILDLINE."
The minister also displayed a sense of humour in the interaction.
When a person from Ladakh told her that he just popped in the session to wish her a 'good day', she responded, "You too have a vegetarian Thukpa for me."
She answered a question from someone called Varun Gandhi by saying - "This sounds like a familiar name!" (her son, Varun, is a parliamentarian from Uttar Pradesh).
And, her advice to someone who complained about being chased by stray dogs was: "find a tree''.
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