Ashish Roshan Tete for BeyondHeadlines
International Women’s Day (08 March) reminds us of significance of women and the role they play in our daily lives. Joining the millions across the globe, Ravenshaw University in Cuttack (Odisha) also celebrated Women’s day at the historic Heritage Hall to highlight the contribution of women in the society.
Justice B.K.Mishra, Chair of Odisha State Human Right Commission, graced the event by serving as its Chief Guest, while leading activist and poet Manorama Mohapatra was the chief speaker. Organised by the Women’s Studies Programme of the university and supported by the Department of Political Science and the SIS, the programme saw large scale participation of students, most of them female.
Prof. Asima Sahoo, HOD, Political Science welcomed the guests and delegates and Prof. Niranjan Barik, founder coordinator of School of International Studies (SIS) chaired the session.
Justice Mishra spoke on marriage, divorce, sexual crimes and violence and highlighted his concern on the durability of the institution of marriage. He said that marriage has been the bedrock of civilisation and we will not see any human beings in the future without this institution. That’s why it should be conserved and protected with mutual respect and dignity. He also spoke on how media and films are impacting the impressionable minds of the youth.
Manorama Mohapatra, the septuagenarian activist and genial poet, read from her earlier poems and narrated her personal story of dealing with life, marriage, education and writing of poetry. She was brilliant in citing the scriptures and incidents from the well known legends and narratives like that of Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Prof Niranjan Barik spoke on the growing number of girls students in the campus and how that’s going to affect education, employment and the future of the household. He argued that the current century is under transition and women will find their own ways and we don’t need to worry much for the fate of women. Judiciary have been the most trusted institution for women and it will continue to be so until the Parliament rises up to the expectation of women. Prof Asima Sahoo, a feminist scholar, introduced the guests and the theme of discussion. Dr. Pragyan Das, the coordinator of Women’s Studies Programme organised the celebration.
(Ashish is pursuing his MA in Politics and International Studies at School of International Studies, Ravenshaw University. He is also an intern reporter with us.)