Bengaluru, March 2023: Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) celebrated International Women’s Day with much enthusiasm with week-long celebrations marked by a series of events aimed to empower women and promote gender equality. The theme for this year’s celebration was “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”. MAHE organized a video-making and article-writing competition for women of different age groups.

Present on the occasion were Mrs. Vasanti R. Pai, Trustee, MAHE Trust; Chief Guest Smt. Rekha Sharma, Chairperson National Commission for Women (NCW), New Delhi; Guests of Honour Dr. Vanita N. Torvi, World Ambassador – Child Rights, International Human Rights Observatory (IHRO); Dr H S Ballal, Pro-Chancellor, MAHE; Lt. General ( Dr) M.D. Venkatesh, Vice-Chancellor, MAHE; Mrs Indira Ballal Entrepreneur & Philontherapist; Mrs. Kusuma Venkatesh, Educationist; along with MAHE officials were present at the ceremony.

Chief Guest Smt. Rekha Sharma, Chairperson National Commission for Women (NCW) said, “It is an honour to be a part of this event on the occasion of International Women’s Day. It is important to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of women who have made a significant contribution to society. Women have proved time and again that they can break barriers and excelling in all fields. However, there is still a long way to go when it comes to achieving gender equality. I hope this event serves as a platform to inspire more women to come forward and make their mark in the world.”

Presidential Address by Mrs. Vasanti R. Pai, Trustee, MAHE Trust said, “I am delighted to be a part of this event on the occasion of International Women’s Day. At Manipal Academy of Higher Education, we have always been committed to promoting gender equality and providing equal opportunities to all. We believe that empowering women is key to building a strong and prosperous society. Through initiatives such as the video making and article writing competition, we aim to provide a platform for young women to showcase their talent and creativity. I urge all the participants to continue pursuing their dreams and aspirations.”

Speaking about the event Dr. Vanita N. Torvi, World Ambassador – Child Rights, International Human Rights Observatory (IHRO) said, “Women’s has grown in the field of Science & Technology and achieved success in their domain. Now, in the field of Innovation, women’s are digitally empowered not only in urban areas, but also in rural areas across PAN India. She emphasized, how women experiences and perspectives related to challenges encountered in creating an inclusive ecosystem at a grassroots level. It is heartening to see the progress made in the fight for gender equality over the years. However, there is still a long way to go. Girls around the world continue to face barriers to education, healthcare, and equal opportunities. We need to work together to break down these barriers and ensure that every girl has access to education and equal opportunities. Let us all pledge to create a world where every girl can thrive and reach her full potential.”

Lt. Gen. (Dr.) M.D. Venkatesh, Vice- Chancellor, MAHE said, “As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it is important to recognize the critical role that women play in our society. Women are the backbone of families, communities, and nations. They are not only responsible for nurturing and raising the future generation but also contribute significantly to the economy. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that women have equal opportunities to reach their full potential. This can only be achieved through inclusive policies and gender-sensitive practices. Let us all pledge to work towards building a more equal and just society.”

The program was followed with a Symposium coordinated by Prof. Balakrishna Rao, Director IT & Digital MAHE, with the Theme on “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for gender equality”. The panellist were Ms Jyotsna Budideti, CEO and Co-Founder of Space Sense.ai.Paris; Dr. Vanita N. Torvi, World Ambassador – Child Rights, International Human Rights Observatory (IHRO); Ms Khyati Bhayana, Co-Founder and Head –R&D, Mediteak (Pvt) Ltd; Mrs Adithi Bhakta, Technical Lead , Chipsy IT Services. The symposium was moderated by Dr Poornima Panduraga, MIT, Manipal.

The programme concluded with an extravaganza cultural program performed staffs and students of MAHE.

On March 6th The FIT Woman Cyclothon was organized at MAHE , Mrs. Indira Ballal and Mrs. Kusuma Venkatesh flagged off the event at MAHE, Manipal, in the presence of Dr H S Ballal, Pro-Chancellor, Lt. General ( Dr) M.D. Venkatesh, Vice-Chancellor, MAHE. About 150 women participated in the event, where they cycled a course from Edu Building to RTO circle, Manipal, and back

In addition there was a video-making competition organised based on the theme, while the article writing competition’s topic was centred on “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for gender equality.”

There were three groups for both competitions: Group A for participants aged between 12-15 years, Group B for those aged between 16-19 years, and Group C for participants aged 20 years and above. The shortlisted submissions will be displayed on the day of the event at Dr. TMA Pai Hall. The Winners of the competition were felicitated.Overall, MAHE’s International Women’s Day celebration was a resounding success, with a series of events that promoted gender equality and women’s empowerment. MAHE’s commitment to creating an ecosystem that fosters gender equality is commendable, and we hope that their efforts will inspire other organisations to do the same.