Panel Discussions for Women Empowerment
March 15, 2013
The cultural association of the Amritapuri Campus, Samskriti, organized a panel discussion titled Violence Against Women on February 19, 2013.
High-profile participants included Dr. Balakrishnan Shankar, Associate Dean, Amritapuri Campus and Dr. Praveen Arathil, Psychiatrist, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi.
The duo was joined by Shri. C. P. Nair, IAS, Former Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala, Mrs. Saritha David Chunkath, Advocate, High Court of Kerala and Mrs. Rekha Menon, popular TV anchor and Media-Head, Asia Pacific, US Technologies.
“It is estimated that every 22 minutes, a woman is brutally raped somewhere in our country. The number of crimes reported is only a fraction of the rapes that really happen,” stated Shri. Nair.
According to statistics compiled by National Crime Records Bureau a total of 2,28,650 incidents of crime against women were reported in the country during 2011. Of these, there were 8550 cases of sexual harassment, 42968 cases of molestation and 80 cases related to trafficking. There were 8618 dowry-related deaths and 99135 cases of cruelty by husband and relatives.
The women panelists Mrs. Saritha and Mrs. Rekha emphasized that the issue at hand was the empowerment of women and that was the responsibility of the whole nation.
The Manu Smriti was quoted. “Where women are honored, divinity blossoms; and where they are dishonored, all action remains unfruitful.”
The Amrita participants on the panel emphasized Chancellor Amma’s words.
Amma says, “A woman is not weak and should never be considered so, but her natural compassion and sympathy have too often been misinterpreted as weaknesses. If a woman draws on her power within, she can become a source of courage and discrimination. Our male society should sincerely help her realize and acknowledge her latent strengths.”
By popular demand, a panel discussion was organized soon again, this time by Amrita Sanjeevani student association.
The panelists included faculty and staff from the different Amrita schools and departments viz. Dr. Balakrishnan Shankar (Associate Dean), Dr. Jyothi (Department of Mechanical Engineering), Dr. Manjula (Dept of Electrical Engineering), Dr. Sreekala (School of Biotechnology), Dr. Priya (Department of Social Work) and Mr. Ranjith Kavunkara (Department of Social Work).
Chancellor Amma’s words again marked the discussions.
Amma says, “Parents should teach their sons both the need to protect and to respect women. These days many men are like one-way roads; they need to become like highways, allowing women to also move forward alongside them … unless we raise our children with these values, no real change will ever take place.”
Amma’s responses to an interview conducted by the Outlook Magazine in the wake of the gruesome Delhi gang rape were also discussed. Read More »
At the Coimbatore Campus, an interactive session was organized on International Women’s Day at the initiative of the Departments of English and Sciences.
Are women aware of their own potential? Are women in a unique organization such as ours aware of their strengths? Are women empowered enough to face challenges in their personal and professional lives? Participants pondered on such questions, drawing on the wisdom in our scriptural texts as they sought the answers.