MAHE celebrates local women for their service on International Women’s Day4 min read
MANIPAL: Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) celebrated International Women’s Day at T. M. A. Pai Auditorium on March 10. This year’s theme was ‘Each for Equal’, with the event being graced by Chief Guest Shyamala S Kundar, a prominent member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and member of the National Commission for Women (NCW). The Guests of Honour included Indira Ballal and Dr Parvati Bhat, Medical Superintendent of T. M. A. Pai Hospital in Udupi. Also present were Dr H S Ballal, Pro-Chancellor of MAHE and Dr Vinod Bhat, Vice-Chancellor of MAHE.
In her address Shyamala, who responds to the concerns of needy women through the forum of the NCW, spoke of the age-old Indian belief of the presence of a higher power wherever women are worshipped. “This is why we call our country the motherland and the river Ganga as Mother Ganga, and why all the rivers that flow in our land have feminine names.” Speaking about the community’s role in women empowerment, she said, “If all of society is with a woman when she gets an opportunity, be it political or professional or any other field, she can achieve great things, and proof of this can be seen in our country.” She praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his efforts towards women empowerment with campaigns like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao. At the end of her speech, she was presented with a memento by Vasanti R Pai, who presided over the event.
The programme also felicitated three women achievers: Srimathi Hegde for her successful work at the local anganwadi kendra at Padu Alevoor, Susheela Saliani for her community service as a policewoman and Arunakala Rao for her contribution to sports as a marathon runner at the age of 67. The three women were facilitated on behalf of the university by the dignitaries who were present. When asked about how this felicitation is going to inspire her in the future, Susheela said, “People look at my good work and reward me for it. It makes me very happy. I never expected to ever receive such things. I got into this profession after I lost my daughter, and I gained thousands of daughters. I wish to continue helping everyone, and always hope that everyone is safe and happy.”
The gathering was also addressed by Vasanti Pai and Dr Parvati V Bhat. In her presidential address, Vasanti spoke of the need for women to realise their power. “Women of all walks of life don’t know how to utilise their power. The moment they realise their power, I think the glass ceiling would stand broken. There are a lot of women who realise their potential by breaking that wall.” She emphasised on the work-life balance that women struggle with today and commented, “Perfection is not the key. Progress is.”
Dr Parvati Bhat in her speech wished all the women present a very happy women’s day and joked that the men present shouldn’t take offense as she would wish them on November 19, which is International Men’s Day. She spoke of the meaning of this year’s “Each for Equality” theme. “Equality is not a woman’s issue. It is a business issue. Gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive. A gender equal world can be healthier, wealthier and more harmonious. The raise for this gender equality is equal boardroom, equal government, equal media coverage, equal workplace, equal sports and more gender equality in health and wealth.”
Srishti Chakraborty, a student of Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, Manipal (WGSHA) spoke of how she was inspired by the women who were present. “I was particularly inspired by the woman who runs marathons (Arunakala Rao). It’s such an inspiring thing: a woman of her age can run, and people of our age are too lazy. Besides her, the policewoman (Susheela Saliani) who works for everyone’s safety– it is nice to have someone who is taking care of our security.”
The event was succeeded by a cultural programme where students and non-faculty members from various institutions of MAHE performed dances and songs. Dance performances included a Yakshagana piece and a Bharatanatyam solo by students from Manipal Institute of Nursing. Non-teaching staff performed to famous songs in Tulu and danced the Ghoomar, a traditional Rajastani folk dance. Students from Manipal School of Architecture and Planning performed various contemporary English pop songs and students from Melaka Manipal Medical College performed various songs in an orchestra.
Featured Image Courtesy- Mridula Kumar
Edited by- Nayanatara Jacob