Central University of Odisha celebrates International Women’s Day-2020

Three eminent women felicitated by CUO
Report by Nishapati Nayak, Koraput: Three eminent women and one student of the CUO have been felicitated by Prof. I. Ramabrahmam, Vice-Chancellor of the Central University of Odisha for their outstanding contribution to the society in a special programme organized at the University campus, Sunabeda on the occasion of International Women’s Day-2020. They are ‘Nari Shakti Swaroopa’, ‘Adarsh Mahila’ awardee of and ‘Mothers on Wheel’ fame Smt. Madhuri Sahasrabudhe; ‘Prakruti Mitra’, Parab Samman-2019’ awardee and tribal woman leader and environmentalist of the Koraput district Smt. Radha Pandia;’ Social activist and eminent academic Smt. Pronoti Deb from Hindustan Aeronautic Limited (HAL) and awardee of best Supporting Actress by Odisha State Film Awards (Film-Pheria), Ms. Shivani Khara, 1st year student of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The Programme organized on 6 March 2020 with the theme “Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Right” was inaugurated by the Vice-Chancellor of the CUO. The Vice-Chancellor presided over the programme and delivered a presidential address with some observations and thanking note to all distinguished Guests and audience.

The program started with a welcome song by the CUO students. Dr. Minati Sahoo, Asst. Professor, Dept. of Economics welcomed the gathering which was then followed by underlining the significance of the event by Prof.Sabitaprabha Pattanaik, Visiting Professor, Dept. of Education. Smt. Deb highlighted the importance of women but raised the issue of their unrecognition. She advocates to change the mindset towards female folk and to work towards gender equality.

The Distinguished Guest, Smt. Pandia after getting introduced by Dr. Kapila Khemendu, HoD (I/c), Dept. of Sociology talks about her struggle while organising the village women to protect the village forests around 1999. She told how under her leadership, she started protecting village forests, framed rules for community forest management, sustainable harvesting of non-timber forest produces, preventing forest fire and poaching of wild animals. After becoming the leader of a block federation and district level federation, she has worked intensely for forest conservation in 1274 villages of Koraput District and ensuring land titles for forest land dependent people under the Forest Rights Act 2006. She has shared how under her leadership, more than 29000 forest land dependent families have received land titles under the forest rights Act. More interesting was that Smt. Pandia has elaborated her entire speech in local Odia language which was then translated by Dr. Khemendu for understanding of the audience.

Smt. Saharabudhe in her speech highlighted the need for generation equality and role of mother in promoting family values. She shares her personal journey from Delhi to London as a part of her “Mothers on Wheel” mission, recollected the overwhelming response that has been received on this self-driven road journey covering 23657 kilometres and 20+ countries, meeting and discussing with mothers from a wide range of cultures. She also revealed about her working towards a second ‘Mothers on Wheels’ trip through South East Asia and Australia. She motivates the students to work for the betterment of the society.

The girl students and staff from some neighbouring colleges like Semiliguda College have also participated in the programme and have shared their views on above theme.

Prizes and certificates were also awarded to the winners of the Essay Writing Competitions in English, Hindi and Odia languages on pursuance of the International Women’s Day 2020.

Finally the event ended with a formal vote of thanks by Dr. Nupur Pattanaik, Guest Faculty, Dept. of Sociology. All the guests and participants have highly appreciated the art prepared for this occasion by the CUO students namely Prannath and Duigring Sabarunder under the guidance of Ms. Swagatika Bhoi, Guest Faculty, Dept. of Education. Visiting Professors, Staff, Research Scholars and Students were present at large in this occasion.