“Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength”. – G.D. Anderson
Uttaranchal University celebrates ‘Nari Shakti Samaan’ on the occasion of International Women’s Day, on 8th March 2022 with great zeal and intent in cognizance of the theme ‘Gender Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’ under the aegis of Uttaranchal University Women Cell. The grand occasion was graced by Chairperson of State Women Commission Smt Kusum Kandwal, as the chief guest, while Chairperson of Sushila Devi Centre for Professional Studies and Research Society, Srimati Anuradha Joshi was the guest of honour along with hon’ble Chancellor Shri Jitender Joshi, Vice-Chancellor Prof (Dr) Dharam Buddhi, Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof (Dr) Rajesh Bahuguna and Dr Abhishek Joshi, Director Student Affairs and IT Services.
The event began with the felicitation of the Chief Guest followed by the lamp lighting ceremony and University Kulgeet. This was followed by a warm welcome address by Dr. Rajesh Bahuguna, who stated that the university has taken the decision to confer ‘Nari Shakti Samaan’ every year from now onwards. According to Prof. Bahuguna, this award shall be given to those women who have done exceptional works or have exceptional achievements in different spheres or whose works have brought socio-economic transformations or laurels to Uttarakhand in the country and the world. The university has announced a cash prize of one lakh rupee, a citation and a shawl for the same. The awardee was selected by a selection committee under the Chairmanship of Smt. Anuradha Joshi. In furtherance, he announced that Padma Shri Basanti Devi was selected for this year’s “Uttaranchal Nari Shakti Samaan” by the Chairperson of the Selection Committee and read the citation and conferred the award in the presence of a distinguished gathering. It is noteworthy that Smt. Basanti Devi is known in the context of the Kausi river at Pithoragarh. Her works towards generating Women’s consciousness, halting of blind cutting of trees in the forests, and preserving the existence of the Kausi river were commended by former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi Government of India has awarded her Padma Shri for her exemplary contributions.
Padma Shri Basanti Devi, in her address, shared her memories of struggles and failures as well as successes. “Protection of forests is the protection of water and protection of water is the protection of life itself.” Her contribution and challenging journey in saving remote villages of Pithoragarh district and other nearby areas were emotionally depicted in her captivating words. She also averred, “Achieving total prohibition in Uttarakhand is my next Agenda and even I am prepared to sacrifice my life for the same.”. Shri Kusum Kandwal, Chairperson of State Women Commission in her address shared her pearls of wisdom to the student community and emphasized the need for moral education in every family. She also stated that honoring the women of Uttarakhand is an exemplary step of Uttaranchal University.
Prof (Dr) Dharam Buddhi conveyed his wishes on the occasion of International Women’s Day and suggested increasing the number of female faculty and girl students as a sign of gender equality and progress towards sustainable development.
Hon’ble Chancellor of the University Shri Jitender Joshi said that women’s upliftment is people’s upliftment and is equivalent to world upliftment. Reiterating his commitment towards society, he outlined his priority to honour exceptional women assets of Uttarakhand. Adhering to his words, he honored the social activists Padma Shri Basanti Devi with a sum of 1 lakh rupees for her dedication towards the environment and uneducated women community in the remote areas of the state.
The event ended with a vote of thanks followed by the National anthem. The entire event was eminently handled by the Chairperson of Uttaranchal University Women Cell, Prof (Dr) Poonam Rawat. Those present on the occasion were Dr. Abhishek Joshi, Registrar, S C Sharma, DSW, DR Shravan Kumar, Dr Pradeep Suri, Dr Ajay Singh, Dr S D Pandey, Dr Rajesh Singh, Dr Jitendra Sinha, Dr S K Shah, Mr Manish Badoni, Dr Sonal Sharma, Mr K. B. Pokhriyal, Mr Rajesh Deorari, Dr Kartikey Gaur, Mr Iqbal Singh and hundreds of faculty members, employees and students of Uttaranchal University.