Mumbai: Veteran actress Shabana Azmi says for the government's 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' campaign to be effective, "our betis (daughters) should be alive".
Shabana shared her thoughts at Anu and Shashi Ranjan-organised 20th Beti FLO GR8 Awards 2018, which she attended here on Monday night with Jeetendra, Amit Sadh, Bhumi Pednekar, Huma Qureshi, Anup Jalota and Amruta Fadnavis.
Reacting to the shocking incident involving the abduction, rape and murder of an eight-year-old in a village near Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, Shabana said: "Our country is living in multiple centuries at one time. We are living in the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries at a time, and this we are experiencing in the way we treat women of this country.
"Our women have achieved great heights in their respective careers and have become leaders. But on the other hand, we read and watch such news that I don't have words to express (my emotions). We should all unite and ensure these kinds of incidents don`t happen.
"We always say 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao', and we should work towards that. But for that, firstly, our betis (daughters) should be alive."
Other celebrities also reacted to the incident.
Huma Qureshi said: "It`s sad, tragic and heartbreaking. People behind it should be punished. If we are not able to protect an eight-year-old girl as a society, then it is really shameful.
"A lot of people are giving political angles to it. I feel very upset about that also. I think justice is what we should be fighting for and arguing about -- and not about making the issue political."
On the 20th Beti FLO GR8 Awards 2018, Huma said: "We all believe in the cause of women empowerment and it has become necessary that we encourage women because girls can also bring glory to our country, just like boys.
"Girls are doing so much better in every field. Whatever I am today is because of my mother and how she pushed me and supported me. So I am all for the cause of women`s empowerment."