GANGTOK, 8 March 2022: On the momentous occasion of International Women’s Day 2022, Sikkim Manipal University (SMU) considers it a privilege & honour to felicitate and acknowledge prominent women achievers of SMU, who through their inspirational leadership and commendable contributions to the society, state & nation, have transcended frontiers of women’s empowerment and have illuminated the pathway for other women and girls to follow in their worthy footsteps.
International Women’s Day offers us an opportunity to strive to create a congenial, enabling & safe environment for our women whereby we give due importance to gender equality, including their aspirations, concerns and sensitivities. We celebrate the dauntless courage, steadfast commitment and determination of our women who have played an extraordinary role in their communities countries. This day marks a call to action for enshrining gender parity. Women’s day marks one of the most important days of the year to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness about women’s equality and nurture them to fulfil their true potential.
Dr. (Lt. Gen.) Rajan S. Grewal, Vice Chancellor in his message on International Women’s Day 2022 said: “the team of SMU, acknowledges and appreciates the commendable contribution, praiseworthy proficiency and steadfast commitment of our women faculty, staff and employees as the anchors and pillars of our society. As we honour and celebrate International Women’s Day we reverentially admire their phenomenal role in our society and celebrate their achievements. They have demonstrated through their life and vibrant work ethos that they are quantum force multipliers in all arenas. We convey our compliments to these ladies for their remarkable dedication, dauntless determination and sincerity in giving their best in service of humankind.”
In a special programme held at SMU here today, ten women achievers were felicitated for their inspirational achievements as leaders and also their dedicated services to SMU. They include Dr. Sherab Shenga IAS, Secretary, Sikkim State Electricity Regulatory Commission and Miss Namrata Thapa, IAS, Secretary, Labour Department, Government of Sikkim, who were also former Registrars of SMU.
Two illustrious alumni of Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology (SMIT) and Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences (SMIMS) who are now serving in the Armed Forces were also honoured and felicitated for their remarkable achievements and service to the nation. Lt Shivangi who obtained her Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering (batch 2016) from SMIT is the first women pilot of the Indian Navy. Dr. Deepsikha Chettri, a proud daughter of Sikkim, completed her MBBS from SMIMS and now is the second woman from Sikkim to be commissioned as a doctor in the Indian Army.
On this occasion, SMU also honoured the dedicated services of six women employees with over 24 years of association with the organisation. They include: Mrs Vani K., Prof Sangeeta Jha, Mrs Kamala Pradhan, Mrs Karma Doma Bhutia and Mrs Diki Lama Tamang.
The ladies were felicitated with a Certificate of Appreciation, a memento and khadas.
In her welcome address, Prof Dr Bidita Khandelwal, Director, Directorate of Research, SMU said that breaking the bias, as mandated by this year’s IWC theme #breakthebias is required for achieving the universal goal of gender equality. “Both men and women, together should be committed to call out bias, smash stereotypes, break inequalities and reject discrimination. It is not a fight between who is better, men or women. We are genetically different and each one of us are unique, in our own ways. We need a world which is equitable and inclusive and where our differences are valued and celebrated.”
“It is widely believed that being a female student is difficult, being a woman at workplace is difficult. In order to address these challenges, a conducive ecosystem has to be created at educational institutions, at our workplaces for all women. Women getting equal opportunities to focus on their growth, being mentored for leadership roles, getting structural support to move up the talent ladder, equitable representation in various committees where they are free to voice their opinions and are heard, and where they are part of the decision making. I am happy to say that Sikkim Manipal University provides all these and much more. The SMU Committee for Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace is robust and active. Not just women, but also men employees can complain against any harassment,” Dr. Khandelwal said. “SMU is an organisation with diverse workforce with equal opportunities of growth to all deserving,” she added.
Dr. Sherab Shenga, in her address as the chief guest, talked about gender equality as a process of being fair to women and men. To ensure fairness, strategies and measures must often be available to compensate for women’s historical and social disadvantages that prevent women and men from otherwise operating on a level playing field. Equity leads to equality. Gender equality requires equal enjoyment by women and men of socially-valued goods, opportunities, resources and rewards. Where gender inequality exists, it is generally women who are excluded or disadvantaged in relation to decision-making and access to economic and social resources. Therefore, a critical aspect of promoting gender equality is the empowerment of women, with a focus on identifying and redressing power imbalances and giving women more autonomy to manage their own lives. Achieving gender equality requires women’s empowerment to ensure that decision-making at private and public levels, and access to resources are no longer weighted in men’s favour, so that both women and men can fully participate as equal partners in all spheres of life,” she said. “In Sikkim, we are fortunate that women enjoy positions and privileges women in the other parts of the country don’t. Women and girls should take advantage of all the opportunities like access to quality education, healthcare and career and livelihood opportunities provided by the government in order to realise their goals and dreams. SMU, as a center of excellence in medical & technical education and healthcare, has been an excellent example of equal opportunities and gender equality,” she said.
The vote of thanks was delivered by Miss Bandana Moktan, Senior Nursing Educator, Central Referral Hospital, SMU.