Manipal Academy of Higher Education Celebrates International Women’s Day.

Richard Dsouza
Kemmannu News Network, 10-03-2018 19:50:25

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International Women’s day- 8th March, 2018
Manipal Academy of Higher Education as a part its Silver Jubilee celebrations had    organised a conference on the theme “ Empowering women to positively impact the world” in the memory of and as a and tribute to her selfless, compassionate and forever giving nature of Late Mrs Sharada M Pai, W/o Late Dr T M A Pai, Founder, MAHE

To set the tone for the day and also as an icebreaker for all the participants we had Dr Meera Baindur, Professor at Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities and Coordinator for Centre for Women’s studies, MAHE who conducted a session on empowerment of women through her attire. The most commonly found robe in the closet of an Indian woman, dupatta, was chosen for the workshop. Through a participatory and hands on approach the workshop was conducted to denote how a robe can limit a women’s potential while the same robe can be utilised to circumvent the barriers and empower women. The lesson learnt was when you don’t take a turn in the end of a road, it will become a dead end.

This was followed by the formal inauguration of the conference. The host for the day’s events was Dr Gayathri Prabhu, Associate Professor from MCPH and Coordinator for Centre for Indian studies. A lyrical and melodious rendition of a poem written for Women’s day by Dr Annamma Kurien was delivered by the students of KMC accompanied by the on the spot painting by Mr Mahendra Acharya on the conference theme. This was  followed by the floral tribute to Late Mrs Sharada M Pai by the dignitaries namely, Dr Anju Sinha, Deputy Director General, Division of Women and Child Health, ICMR, New Delhi, Mrs Indira Ballal, Dr Parvathi Bhat, Medical Superintendent, Dr T M A Pai Hospital, Udupi. The gathering was welcomed by Dr Poornima Baliga, Pro Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Health Sciences, MAHE and the overview of the conference was provided by Ms Hilda Cornelio. The official release of the website on Team Women MAHE was done by Mrs Indira Ballal and the prize for the winner of the photography contest was provided by Dr Parvathi Bhat.

Following the inauguration was the key note speech of the day by Dr Anju Sinha. Coming from a public health background coupled with a rich field experience, she highlighted the factors influencing maternal health and ICMR’s initiatives to towards the Sustainable Development Goals related to women and child health as well as HIV prevention. She provided a complete knowledge of the hierarchy within the ICMR working towards this goal along with the process on involving and training community health workers for skill development to achieve SDGs. Interestingly, all the community health workers chosen were women.

Following the key note speech was an interactive talk by Ms Revathi Kasturi, Chief Executive, LAQSH Jobs Skills Academy. She focused on how to tackle day to day issues in a women’s life to improve her morality and confidence to surge in life with the tag line, The time is now. When do you start? Now. She gave personal examples to relate the audience to the theme of her talk, the curves and bends she faced to reach where she has today, the family, social and workplace support she was able to harness and how she derived the potential to do the same so that audience could take a lesson or two from her example. She insisted that there has to be more male participation in such events to sensitise them better for women issues.

Post lunch there was a panel discussion on the theme of the conference which was moderated by Dr Gayathri Prabhu. The panellists were Ms Prasanna Paniker, Ex- General Manager, Andhra bank, Mr Allen Pereira, Retd Chairman, Bank of Maharastra, Ms Shweta Pai, Vice President, Sales, Zee Entertainment Enterprises, Mrs Subhashini Vasanth, Founder, Vasanthaprabha Foundation for Arts, Ms Prathiba Sudhir, CISCO, Business Operations and Partner Manager and Dr Padmarani, Director, School of Communication, MAHE. 
Ms. Paniker shared with us her conviction that it is essential for women today to make it to the top of their profession in order to create a positive and sustained impact. While Mr Allen Pereira added his observations on how gender equations and workplace-issues have changed through the three decades of his career. Ms Prathiba Sudhir spoke about her views on the evolution of the role of women in the science and technology centre.  She felt that science and technology are positive enablers of change with a slow break in the glass ceilings and differences in the compensation and responsibilities.

Mrs Subhashini Vasanth spoke her views on special relation that gender has to the arts special literature and dance. She also shared her thoughts on the motivation with which she started the Foundation to provide support for the families of martyred soldiers. Ms Shweta Pai spoke on how working women can engage productively with their male colleagues, in creating a more equitable and hospitable work-atmosphere in the corporate world. Dr Padma rani spoke about the changing role of women in media with the rise of new technologies. The general theme from the panel was how there has been a transition in the discussion related to women development and empowerment across the decades.

The panel discussion was followed by a workshop on personal development through motivation using Neuro Linguistic Programming and FEMPOWER by Ms Savita Shenoy, Corporate Trainer. This was again conducted by mobilizing enhanced participation from the audience represented by women from different professions. Activities like mind cleansing, break the pattern, change your words to change your world, Positive attitude were highlighted upon as take home lessons for the participants. Towards the end of the workshop, the participants were able to answer the questions which they had put up themselves at the beginning of the session.

To make the evening more relaxing and to add colour to the event organized by Team Women Manipal, Nrityollasa, a dance programme with cultural dances from different regions of India was presented to the audience by the team Srishti arts Foundation, Udupi lead by Dr Manjari. Classical dances were interspersed with folk to enhance the flavor of the event.

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