The President of India, ShriRamNathKovindgraced and addressed the 95th All India Marathi Literar y Conference through a video message today (April 24, 2022). Appreciating the organisers for naming the venue of the Conference after Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar, the President said that such a meaningful use of the name ofLatajiwhohasgivenatimeless legacy to the culture of India and Maharashtra, is appropriate. Pointing to the fact that Maharashtra Udayagiri M a h a v i d y a l a y a o f th e Maharashtra Education SocietyismarkingitsDiamond Jubileethisyear,thePresident congratulatedtheentireteam of the college for making continuous contribution in the fieldofeducationforpast sixty years. Noting that the college was established by the farmersandtradersofUdgirregion withtheirhard-earnedmoney, hesaidthat societyandnation progressonlywithsuchextraordinary contribution of ordinary citizens. He said that we should gratefully remember thecontributionoffounderson this occasion. Remembering the literary contributions of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and Dr BR Ambedkar,thePresident said that Mahatma Jyotiba Phule wroterevolutionarybooks like 'Gulamgiri'and'TritiyaRatna'. Theplay 'TritiyaRatna' is considered as an important work of social theatre. Babasaheb Ambedkarenrichedthethinking of Maharashtra as well as whole country with the ideals of modernity and equality through his publications like 'Bahishkrit Bharat' and 'Mooknayak'. On that egalitarian ideology and spirit, talented writers of the deprived classes, in modern era, have composedliteratureinMarathi whichis calledDalitliterature. The President said that equality and valour are the identityofMaharashtra.Inthe 17th century, by flowing the streamsofbraveryandknowledge, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Samarth Guru Ramdas and Sant Tukaram, endowedMarathi identityand literature with extraordinary splendour which created a new self-respect in India. Speaking about valuable and extraordinary contributions of women-power in Maharashtra, the President re m e m b e re d Qu e e n Naganika of Satavahana dynasty who lead her empire after the untimely demise of herhusband;VeermataJijabai whohadnotonlybuiltthecharacter and personality of her sonVeerShivajibutalsogave new heights to the Maratha pride through her able leadership; Janabai who composed a number of musical abhangas challenging caste and gender-based discrimination in the 14th century; Baija Bai who fought against British 40 years before the struggle of 1857. He also mentioned the contributions ofSavitribaiPhule,Sagunabai Kshirsagar, Fatima Shaikh, Mukta Salve and Tarabai Shinde to society, literature and education in 19th century’sMaharashtra.Hesaidthat Tarabai Shinde wrote a book 'Stree-Purush Tulna' in the year1882whichisconsidered to be the first article written on the topic of women's liberation in India. He said that the example of Dr.Anandibai Joshiwhowasamongthefirst women of India to become a doctor, gives an introduction toaprogressivesociety.Inthe 20th century, social workers like Pramila Tai Medhe have contributed nationwide. The President said it is a matter of concern that the women of Maharashtra, who have been leading since ancient times in the fields of politics, social reform, thinking and literature, are lagging behind today. He noted that accordingtothe2011census, Maharashtrawas ranked14th in terms of female literacy and 22nd on the sex-ratio parameter. He urged progressive citizens participatingintheLiteraryConference to take a pledge to encourage women to take lead in areas like health, education and literature.