Bhubaneswar:7/3/23:Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar celebrated the International Women’s Day on 4thMarch, 2023 to honour the social, economic, and cultural achievements of women and to raise the awareness about women’s rights and gender parity. This year’s UN theme for the International Women’s Day is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”.
Ms. Abha Mishra, Head of Officer-Odisha, UNDP, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and Adv. Namrata Chadha, Social activist, Ex-Member of Odisha State Commission for Women graced the occasion as the Guest of Honour. The event was presided over by Prof. ShreepadKarmalkar, the Director of IIT Bhubaneswar. Dr.Sasmita Barik, Chairperson, Women Welfare Committee welcomed and introduced the guests to the audience.
Speaking on the occasion in his presidential address, Prof. Karmalkar, Director, IIT Bhubaneswar spoke about how he visited the remote parts of Odisha, and found traditional practices in the state to be very female-centric. For instance, he talked about how the villages of Odisha were named after women from mythology. He also talked about the balance that is required between genders, and how some spaces in the society are navigable only for women. He ended by saying that women must recognise the uniqueness of their roles, and the kind of strengths they possess, to bring good change into the society.
The Chief Guest of the evening, Ms. Abha Mishra delivered her talk on her own journey as a woman, the story of how she rose to be the woman she is, with the incessant support of her parents, including her father. Ms. Mishra emphasized that even though her father, friends and colleagues were males themselves, they always stood by her and encouraged her to grow. Therefore, women can be truly empowered only when they have the support of their peers, irrespective of gender.
The Guest of Honour, Adv. Namrata Chadhaexpressed her happiness for being a part of the International Women’s Day 2023. 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. Mrs. Chadha talked about the most commonplace issues that women face from domestic violence, to dowry, to the lopsidedness of society towards male children. She talked about how these societies fundamentally arise from patriarchal domination. She laid importance on changing the mindset to changing society.
The program also included a few cultural activities performed by the faculty, staff and students of IIT Bhubaneswar. The program ended with the Vote of Thanksby Ms. Shraddha Jha, Coordinator, Women Welfare Committee, IIT Bhubaneswar.Also present at the event were Shri. Debaraj Rath, Registrar andseveral faculty members, staff and students of IIT Bhubaneswar.
In addition to the main celebration, a series of events were also organized by the Women Welfare Committee in collaboration with student’s societies. A Self-Defence Training program, an Open Mic event were organized on 3rdMarch, followed by the Art, Debate and Poetry competitions on 4th and 5th March 2023.