Manipal talks for its women at celebration in MAHE
MANIPAL: On the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8, a series of panel discussions and talks organised by Team Women, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), were held at the TMA Pai auditorium. The celebrations of this year were based on the theme ‘#BalanceforBetter’.
In this day and age when women’s struggles are being brought to light, there’s still so much left to resolve and this was the underlying purpose of organising this event. The topics of the talks ranged all the way from dealing with mental health for women to balancing physical fitness. The chief guest for the event was Professor Dr Indira Chakravarthy, Chief Adviser, Public Health Engineering Department, Government of West Bengal.
A panel discussion was also held on the topic ‘Women and Drug Abuse’ in line with the overall theme of ‘Empowering Woman to Positively Impact the World’. The panel was moderated by Dr Gayathri Prabhu, Coordinator of Student Support Center (SSC) and Professor, Manipal Centre for Humanities (MCH). The panel discussion started by discussing the root causes that lead young people into relying on drugs and how it specifically affects women and their lives. The discussions highlighted points about people resorting to drugs to combat their anxiety as well as using them recreationally and then falling victim to it without realising the consequences.
This panel also consisted of dignitaries like Lakshmi Radhakrishnan, Deputy Commissioner for Mangalore Customs, Dr Padma Rani, Director of School of Communication (SOC), Geeta Maiya, Director of Student Affairs, Dr Sreekumar Menon, Indian Revenue Service (retd.), Centre for Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances (CNPS), MAHE and Dr Fiddy Davis, Head of Centre for Sports Science and Medicine Research, MAHE.
“The generation of today is stuck in a loop of hedonic self-indulgence, they don’t realize the long terms harms of their actions. Moreover, there is a very big need in the students to fit in somewhere and to have a sense of belonging, hence they try to get that instant validation from substances,” said Dr Vidya Pathwardan, one of the panellists and Associate Professor at Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA).
The discussion also trailed off to the ever-increasing need for success within this generation so much so that when they feel that they’re slightly lagging behind, they start getting into the dark places of anxiety and depression.
“Women are more vulnerable to drug abuse than men. They already have a lot of hormonal issues within the body that happens even to the healthy women out there, now imagine if they start indulging in drug abuse,” said Dr Padma Rani referring to the adverse effects of drugs on women.
The next presentation was about balancing physical fitness, which was conducted by Dr Fiddy Davis along with Mayuri Joshi and Shifra Fernandes, both Assistant Professors at the Department of Exercise and Sports Science. They spoke about the importance of physical fitness in women and the need for a certain balance in life. Also discussed was physical equity, which talks about adjusting your physical activity according to your body type and mannerisms because not everyone can do everything. There was also an interactive session held for the audience through a poll on physical fitness at the end of which results were compared.
“We arrange this program every year. When we look back we see a lot of growth in terms of enabling women’s health and we have many such plans for the future regarding the same,” said Dr Chandni Gupta of Team Women, MAHE.
A short film based on the theme of the event, ‘#BalanceforBetter’, made by the students of SOC was screened during the inauguration. Dr Shubha H S, Head of Department of Media Studies was called up on stage to speak about the film and what it stood for. “Gender balance is essential and it calls for action,” she said while explaining the essence of the film. The film explored various aspects of the struggles faced by women of MAHE and how people around them are trying to bring equality to their life.
Featured Image Courtesy: Yeshaswini Srihari
Edited by: Niharika Nambiar