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International Women’s Day at WTC World Trade Center Mumbai

International Women’s Day at WTC World Trade Center Mumbai

14 March-Those 3 hours at International Women’s Day yesterday was a celebration, a gathering of women and some men. We talked about the challenges and the means to overcome them. But the most important outcome of this celebration was self-love. Every panellist very categorically emphasised self-respect and education as an important means towards the empowerment of women.

A power-packed panel of women leaders. Their stories were inspiring and motivating. They patiently narrated how they tackle similar issues differently, their varied experiences left the audience speechless. There was pin-drop silence throughout those 3 hours.

I sat in front of the stage rather than on the dias so that I could enjoy the pleasure of hearing them. I was touched by the fact that women from Nagpur, Nashik, Latur and so many other regions of Maharashtra came all the way to participate in the celebrations.

Our panellists were women determined to achieve their goals. Anuradha SenGupta, the popular television face on CNBC TV18 whom I have seen only on-screen and I always looked up to her in awe was so down to earth I could never believe that I actually met her in person and when she spoke on the plight of women in war zones I could hardly hold back my tears. So candid and upright a woman of substance that is the one and only Anuradha who fired the stage with her blazing personality. Some of the ladies could hardly believe that they could get to see her in person.

Radio Jockey Urmin stole our hearts, her energy was of some other level, no wonder the heatwave struck down suddenly yesterday. Her experiences as an RJ are unbelievable; she had to interview SRK but ended up co hosting the show with him! An absolute rock star this “Agdi Wow” girl left us wanting more!

Pritee Chaudhary the IRS officer provided a completely different perspective of an officer, a wife, a mother and a woman who can change the world. She brought in the angle of self-love and self respect which every woman should have for herself and towards other women .

Priya Saraiya a beautiful soft spoken lyricist and singer mesmerized us with a few lines from her famous songs. It is indeed a matter of great pride that she bought a house for her parents. This is a lesson to all women that it’s not necessary that only sons look after their parents. Daughters owe as much to her parents.

Anna Lekvall the CG of Sweden comes from a country where gender equality hardly matters, women are at par with men and highly empowered. Although she came from a country where women are on a equal footing with men she was very sensitive to the problems faced by women across the world.

Caroline Rietveld the deputy head of the mission of the Netherlands was very compassionate she too spoke about the situation in Netherlands which again is almost similar to Sweden.

Soft-spoken and gentle Caroline and Anna were extremely happy to meet women representing small businesses. I am sure if these entrepreneurs ever want to explore business possibilities in Sweden or Netherlands these diplomats would certainly provide the helping hand.

But the most touching moments were when they all spent time with some of the physically challenged young women who are economically independent despite their challenged conditions. I always make it a point to invite them to encourage and build their self-esteem.

Dr Jaishree Sharad is a phenomenal woman who is victorious in every sense in spite of the most traumatic childhood, her humility and modesty are qualities that need to be imbibed. Today she is an Internationally renowned Cosmetic Dermatologist and the favourite of tinsel town! She spread so much positivity and smiles as she made sure we sang and swayed to the music she played on her phone.

And now our moderator Nirmika Singh, Executive Editor Rolling Stone, a poet and influencer! She managed to bring in the spunk and ensured the discussion was like a sizzler! She never let the steam get away even for a moment. She’s always so well prepared and it’s always a treat to hear her poetry which has deep meanings and her narration has that punch where she can dare even the devil!

From the pen of Rupa Naik