Bhubaneswar: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar conducted the celebration of International Women’s Day on 8th March, 2022 to honour the social, economic, and cultural achievements of women from all walks of life. This year, National Implementation Committee, chaired by Hon’ble Home Minister, has approved the event “Women’s Day” on 8th March, 2022 to be celebrated by Ministry of Women and Child Development as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM).
A few events were organized by the Women Welfare Committee (WWC) of the Institute in collaboration with three student’s societies, namely, Panacea: the Literary Society, Cinewave: the Filmmaking Society and Kalaakriti: the Fine Arts Society on 5th and 6th March 2022 before reaching to its culmination on 8th March 2022 with the celebration of International Women’s Day. This year’s UN theme for the International Women’s Day is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. The programme was organized in hybrid mode with the physical presence as well as the virtual participation of the guests and Institute fraternity.
Mrs. Prativa Mohapatra, Vice-President & Managing Director, Adobe India, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest through online mode and Dr. Minati Behera, Chairperson, Odisha State Commission for Women graced the occasion as the Guest of Honour. The event was presided over by Prof. R. V. Raja Kumar, the Director of IIT Bhubaneswar.
Speaking on the occasion in his presidential address, Prof. R. V. Raja Kumar, Director, IIT Bhubaneswar spoke about the necessity to carry consciousness about making gender parity as a tradition within the society. Women are increasingly being recognised as more vulnerable to climate change impacts than men, as they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent on the natural resources which climate change threatens the most. At the same time, women and girls are effective and powerful leaders and change-makers for climate adaptation and mitigation. They are involved in sustainability initiatives around the world, and their participation and leadership results in more effective climate action. Continuing to examine the opportunities, as well as the constraints, to empower women and girls to have a voice and be equal players in decision-making related to climate change and sustainability is essential for sustainable development and greater gender equality. Without gender equality today, a sustainable future, and an equal future, remains beyond our reach. He lauded the choice by the Ministry of Education (MoE) to extend the supernumerary seats for women candidates to at least 20% has actually raised the female scholars share from the paltry 8% to 20% within the educational year 2020-2021. It will improve the hopes to seek out a greater number of girls in powerful roles in all walks of life, in the near future. I would like to share that today fortunately the country has come up with a mechanism for rise in seats of women for education, so we look forward to have an increasing ratio of women going forward. He further added that there is some discrimination happening in certain parts of society but nevertheless the concern for gender parity should start at home, so everybody at IIT Bhubaneswar should commit ourselves to gender parity in all our functioning, admission processes, selection process and providing equal opportunities for women.
The Chief Guest of the evening, Mrs. Prativa Mohapatra expressed her heartiest congratulations to the students and faculties for toiling hard to reach IIT Bhubaneswar, the elite class and Institution of National Importance in the country along with special mention to Prof. R V Raja Kumar, Director, IIT Bhubaneswar for his dynamic leadership and for being culturally oriented. She appealed to the audiences to focus on the communication skill and not to give importance to the biasedness creature. She also expressed heartfelt congratulations to all the faculty members at IIT for moulding the best brains in the country. She emphasized that she is passionate about gender equity and not gender equality. She stressed that while women’s rights are human rights, in these troubled times, the rights of women and girls are being reduced, restricted and reversed. She emphasized that only by empowering women and girls their rights can be protected and their full potential be ensured. She further added that the contribution of women and girls around the globe, who participate in their communities promoting climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, in order to build a more sustainable future for all. She also expressed that our country believes woman as the engine of growth and it is committed to advance the rise of women nationally and globally. She finally concluded that with a golden statement that “Life is not a 100 metre dash, it’s a marathon”, so we need to be more advanced in every aspect of life.
The Guest of Honour, Dr. Minati Behera expressed her happiness for being a part of the International Women’s Day 2022. She also expressed that there are innumerable contributions of womanhood on their course of journey of life by giving examples from the daily life in a straightforward way. She also emphasized on the very fact for awareness, intentionality, investing in coaching, linking oneself with the different platforms and community to make ourselves visible in the crowded and noisy society in the vicinity. She further opined on the truth that our nation gives a lot of importance to girl/women education because they are an integral part of nation development and is dedicated to encourage and support women empowerment nationally and globally.
Prof. R.V. Raja Kumar, in presence of the Guests distributed the prizes to winners of the competitions. The program also included a short movie telecasted by the students of IIT Bhubaneswar and a few cultural activities. Aaroh, the musical society of IIT Bhubaneswar paid a small tribute to Smt. Lata Mangeshkar Ji. The program ended with the Vote of Thanks by Dr. Sasmita Barik, Chairperson, Women Welfare Committee, IIT Bhubaneswar. Also present at the event was Shri. Debaraj Rath, Registrar, Prof. P.V. Satyam, Dean, Students Affair, Prof. Sujit Roy, Dean Research and Development and several faculty members, staff and students of IIT Bhubaneswar.