Rajalakshmi Institutions celebrated International Women's Day at the Rajalakshmi Engineering College in Thandalam by honouring the accomplishments of a group of highly motivated and successful women across various professions. At the event, these women shared their experiences and encouraged the next generation of women to strive to be the best in their desired paths in life. The seven guests of honour were presented with awards for their achievements in the fields of classical dance, sports, medicine, music, technical research, talent acquisition, and wild life photography.
The college band, Unison, got the celebrations started with a series of covers of popular songs that were well received by all the guests of honour as well as the students and faculty in attendance.
Dr Thangam Meganathan, chairperson, Rajalakshmi Institutions, set the tone for the afternoon in her opening address which promoted a simple, yet powerful message: Dream it, be it.
Dr Meganathan proceeded to highlight the role of education in moulding the future of Indian women by recognising the wide pool of talent available in the country. She also emphasised the growing role of women in contributing to the GDP of the country.The chairperson concluded her address by paying a tribute to all the hardworking and sincere women in India and the role they play as the guardians of our culture.
The first award presented at the gathering was the Lifetime Achievement Award to Padma Bushan winner, Dr Padma Subrahmanyam, for her achievements in the field of classical dance.The chief guest of the gathering, Dr Subrahmanyam, outlined the growing influence of women in society as teachers, support figures, and the gatekeepers of peace and harmony. She urged the young women in attendance to emulate the qualities of such great women and pursue patience and the promotion of dharma. Dr Subrahmanyam also cautioned the students about the problems arising from rejecting family values and support systems in their pursuit of equality and independence.
Dr Anuradha Sriram, Balambal Balasubramaniam, Dr Jaishree Gajaraj, Preethy Unnikrishnan, Dr Nadita Das Gupta, and Rathika Ramasamy were presented with Eminent Woman Achiever Awards for their respective achievements in the fields of music, sport, medicine, talent acquisition, technical research, and wildlife photography. Each of them outlined the manner in which they overcame obstacles in their respective professions to achieve success.They also motivated the students and spoke to them about personal growth and achieving balance in one's life.
Dr Anuradha Sriram, one of India's leading playback singers, serenaded the audience with a few verses from her favourite songs. In her speech, she emphasised on the sacrifices that women have made for the social progress of the country. Dr Sriram also spoke about the social responsibility of empowered women to promote professional ethics for the progress of the country as a whole.
Balambal Balasubramniam, a retired sportswoman, encouraged the students to draw strength from physical activity, as it is an effective way to counter the difficulties of the aging process.
Dr Jaishree Gajaraj, a leading gynaecologist, urged students to empower themselves by taking care of their health and getting regular health checks ups. She aslo spoke to the students about common medical conditions faced by women such anemia and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Preethy Unnikrishnan, the head of campus hiring for a leading IT company, emphasised on the importance of building relationships and support systems but also held that for a happy and successful life, a woman stand strong for what she wants and refuse to compromise on her goals. Unnikrishnan also stated that a woman is responsible for the values she instils in her children as they are the future of the country.
Dr Nandita Das Gupta, a professor, spoke about the negative trend of intelligent and capable women discontinuing their education out of the fear that it will limit their marital prospects. She stressed that women in India have to start viewing themselves as equal to men in order to grow in life. She urged the students to refrain from feeling less intelligent and less talented than their male counterparts.
Rathika Ramasamy, India's first woman wild life photographer, spoke about the relationship between happiness and success. She said that every woman should choose a career path that brings her happiness and reject negative and external pressures regarding major life decisions.
The event was a true celebration of women that have broken down barriers and excelled in their professions, inspiring others around them. The thunderous applause from the students at the end of the event reflected the impact that these women and their stories had on the students.