International Women’s Day celebrations at ICRISAT-India
From caring for one’s health and the environment to taking inspiration from stories of the accomplished and pledging for a better future, meaningful and exciting activities defined the International Women’s Day, which was observed at ICRISAT-India on 6 March.
A 2-km walk around the campus and planting of samplings set off the activities. This was followed by the staff taking a pledge to do their part in making the world an equal space, irrespective of the gender.
A panel discussion followed on the topic ‘An equal world is an enabled world’, which was also the theme of the International Women’s Day 2020. Panelists included Dr Mahtab Bamji – a scientist, Dr Jaideep Sharma – a doctor, and Ms Kavita Mishra – a farmer, who brought in their own unique perspectives to the discussion that was moderated by Dr Peter Carberry, Director General, ICRISAT.
Dr Bamji, an honorary scientist of the Indian National Science Academy, has worked to improve nutritional status of rural populations in India, especially addressing malnutrition in women and children. She emphasized the need to focus on the wellbeing of the female child right from birth throughout her life, for a strong and resilient society.
Dr Jaideep Sharma, Founder, Dr Jaideep’s Diagnostic Centres, spoke about the rich contributions of women to the heritage as well as the future of India. Speaking about certain ills in Indian society that impacted women and girls very adversely, he urged all to take steps to fight the ills and care for the physical, mental, emotional and social health of women.
Ms Kavita Mishra, a sandalwood farmer from Raichur district, Karnataka, held everyone spellbound with the story of her struggles to gain a footing as a farmer in a harsh environment, facing the challenges of crop loss, debts etc. She inspired as well as gave hope to the younger generation, asking them to take up life’s challenges as ways to improve themselves and prove their abilities to the world.
Fascinating life stories and inspirational lessons were shared during a story sharing session that followed the panel discussion. Dr Lalitha Raghuram, Country Director, MOHAN Foundation, informed the audience of the urgent need for organ donation in India. Ms Anmol Rodriguez, social media influencer, shared how she went from being an acid attack survivor to a successful TEDx speaker and Instagram celebrity.
A dress code of white or green set for the staff, including colleagues at the New Delhi office, marked the day.