All roads lead to IMC Ladies Wing of Commerce and Industry for their Annual General Meeting wherein stalwarts like Deepika Singh Rajawat, Manju Srivastava, Zarin Daruwala, Rajagopala Chidambaram, Ashok Kurien and Mr. Agnelorajesh Athaide were felicitated for their contribution to their respective fields.
President of the IMC Ladies Wing (2017-18), Nayantara Jain said that “The theme of my year as President was Winds of Change. The woman of our rural sector are very empowered in their own way, our roots are very rich and the women in the rural areas are the ones who deserve recognition. We synergised the members of IMC Ladies Wing with women from rural areas and empowered them in every way possible. It is our honour and privilige to be in the same room as our noted awardees and Chief Guest and Guest of Honour today as we present them with these much deserved accolades for our Annual General Meeting.”
Chairperson of the Awards committee of IMC Ladies’ Wing, Aarti Gupta Surendranath was a fine moderator of this event. President of IMC Ladies Wing 2018-19, Mohana Nair and Vice President (2018-19), Vanita Bhandari were also present and all smiles at taking over the mantle in their incoming year.
Deepika Singh Rajawat received the Woman of The Year Award by IMC Ladies Wing. Deepika fearlessly fought for the Kathua case rape victim, even though she received death threats, nothing deterred her. She runs an NGO called Voice for Rights which takes up cases of human rights against women and children. She especially fights cases of traffic and of children who are victims of mines and works for juvenile justice. Deepika stated that, “I am thankful for this award. It is strength, it is something that stays with you. After I took the Kathua case, so many things happened, the nation is with me but at the same time I have seen the time when I have been told that I am an anti nationalist. If supporting a child is an anti nationalist, then I wear it as a badge. Because for me when I a lawyer and an activist, then I don’t have a religion, I cannot be selective in choosing cases, I am answerable for everyone. I don’t see whether the victim is Hindu Dalit or Muslim, that is abusing the case itself. I don’t want to be in that category. I believe to be here and to get this award, it is my honor as today I am able to speak to my supporters. We need to bring change throughout the country, why is there so much rape, killing, what is wrong? Are we giving this a thought? Being keyboard warriors is not enough, we all have a responsibility. The real award would be when our nation is abuse free. And it is our duty to be the voice for the unheard. I am thankful to IMC ladies Wing for this recognition and when people are not viewing me with good eyes like in Jammu, I see an hostile atmosphere towards me, this award makes me feel accepted”
Manju Srivastava founder of Ekal Bhayan that has managed to reach out to students in rural areas all across india making it the biggest movement to develop at the grassroots level. She was mentioned in a speech by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who lauded her efforts. She received The Special Recognition Award by IMC ladies wing. Manju states that, “I am glad to see a predominant women presence here. My journey goes back 30 years when we started from the forests of Bihar that is now Jharkhand. When we started we did not realise the volume of work. We took the primary education at the doorstep of tribal children. The word is Ekal, power of one, of one person believes in change then we can make it happen. If poor children cannot go to school then education must go their doorstep. Today we are in 70000 villages across India, we have covered the whole nation. 90 percent of our teachers are young women, that is how we have given economic empowerment in villages. It is a program that starts at the grassroots level. No reservation, no discrimination, irrespective of cast and creed such as in areas like Jammu Kashmir, borders of Bangladesh, we are there for the sake of humanity and for the sake of educating our children and women. We have curtailed child marriage and early pregnancy through our programs.”
Zarin Daruwala, CEO Standard Chartered Bank India was awarded for her Outstanding contribution in Banking and Financial services. She stated that, “When my journey began in the banking sector, things were very different. There was no digitalisation, online banking, ATMs, it was a different world. My biggest learning in this sector has been learning and then unlearning, as one has to keep up pace with the rapid changes. My motto is persistence overcomes resistance. When I joined Standard Chartered Bank, the media said it was a brave decision. It has been a very nice 2 and a half year journey at Standard Chartered Bank.”
The Chief Guest of the afternoon was Rajagopala Chidambaram, who was the Former Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India and is known for his integral role in India’s nuclear weapons program. He also coordinated test preparation for the Pokhran in 1975 and 1978.
The Guest of Honor of the afternoon was Ashok Kurien who is the Managing Director of Ambience Publicis Adversting Public Limited which one of India’s largest advertising agency.
The Special Guest was Agnelorajesh Athaid He is the Promoter, Chairman and Managing Director of St. Agnelo’s professional education.
Also present at the event were Rahul Bajaj, Rajiv Poddar, Rajyalaxmi Rao, Kailash Surendranath and many more eminent individuals.