On the occasion of International Women’s Day celebrations which are spread over the first two weeks of March at the University of Hyderabad (UoH), A Round Table Conference on “Women Empowerment” was organised on 7th March, 2020. This was jointly organised by the office of the Dean Students’ Welfare and the office of Chief Warden. The program has been coordinated by Prof. Darla Venkateswara Rao, Dean Students Welfare incharge, Dr. G. Padmaja, Dy. Dean Students Welfare and Prof. G. Vijaya Lakshmi, Dy. Chief Warden, University of Hyderabad.
The panel speakers were Mrs. Vaishali Malhotra IRS, GST commissioner; Mrs. Deepa Balasubramanian, Head of Corporate Affairs at Malaxmi Group of Companies, and Chief Executive Officer of The Sedibus; Mrs. Sridevi Jasti, Managing Director/ Holistic Nutritionist,Vibrant Living Private Limited; Dr. Satya Lakshmi, Retd. Chief Medical Officer, University of Hyderabad.
The conference brought together achievers from multiple fields who shared their valuable inputs from the fields of Finance/ Economy, Entrepreneurship, Health and Nutrition as well as Medical and Holistic health aspects.
Mrs. Vaishali Malhotra IRS, emphasised upon the major role of women in leadership and participation in economic activities and the need of change in perception for women and understanding equality of opportunities. She talked about the self-worth of a woman breaking many barriers. She pointed to the qualities and traits of women such as confidence, team building and others which don’t have any gender disparity. She pointed out that only by way of policy making the participation of women in economic activities can be ensured. Her motivational speech ended with her pointing to the fact that leadership is not about power but about empowering others.
Mrs. Deepa Balasubramanian, who is herself an entrepreneur, said that women entrepreneurship is not limited to any barriers of age or any other factor and many challenges are faced throughout. However, a woman has the capacity and determination to overcome them, she added by sharing her own experiences in her journey of entrepreneurship. She portrayed how with strong will and gathering necessary support from family and others a woman can prove herself successful. She welcomed the students and assured encouragement to emerge as entrepreneurs.
Mrs. Sridevi Jasti tarweed light upon the need for loving one’s own self and need to thus maintain health. One who loves oneself and can lead the life in one’s own terms, thus a healthy body requires being taken care of like a worship place. Good health gives self confidence and capability to take right decisions. Making one’s own decisions enables one to take responsibility for oneself. While valuing others opinions, any individual should have the confidence to dream and take decisions. Good & Nutritious food and Exercise will make the health tasteful.
Dr. Satya Lakshmi, pointed out the fact that a women has physiologically, psychologically and socially certain privileges but also has certain special needs. Throughout her life a woman needs quality health care vital at every age in her life span. She portrayed how nutrition is important from prenatal period through every stage of life till the end. Healthy women can strive to be empowered women. She pointed to the motto “Each for equality” and the sub themes and think equal and build smart and innovates for change as important for every woman. She reiterated the need for a stress free life with good and nutritious diet exercise and lifestyle.
Their talks were followed by several questions from student participants. The questions such as Gender Bias in administrative services and stunted growth after a position is reached were addressed by Mrs. Vaishali Malhotra, who emphasized on strategic management and skills of subordinate management as one goes up the ladder. She also said participatory learning will eventually make women much stronger and empowered and emerge as a greater leader. Regarding need for reservations for women empowerment, she said that in the interest of society for the upbringing of those who may not enjoy the privileges enjoyed by few, such policies will help.Questions related to entrepreneurship were answered by Mrs. Deepa Balasubramanian who emphasized on consistent efforts by women to be successful as entrepreneurs. Mrs. Sridevi Jasti enlightened the students maintaining good health by nutritious food by taking vegetables, fruits and sprouts.
Prof. Darla Venkateswara Rao and Dr. G. Padmaja summarized the session and felicitated the panel speakers and gave the certificates to the participants. As coordinators they both thanked the team of student volunteers headed by Ms. Ravula Darahasini, who organized the event along with the office of the Dean Students’ Welfare and office of Chief Warden.