International women’s Day was celebrated here today at DAVIET with great enthusiasm by the Gender Sensitization Cell of the Institution. It was an initiative by the Cell to enlighten and empower the students in general and girls in particular about the rights and role of women in the ever emerging scenarios the world over.

As part of celebrations, a workshop on self defense was oragnised with the focus on enabling the girls defend themselves against aggressors in diverse situations. More than 200 girls participated in the workshop. The highlight of the celebration was the performance of the Punjabi play Sahiban–  a tale beyond legend by artists from Naad Rang Manch, Patiala.  It offers a fresh perspective on the suffering of women in the feudal society. In the play, Sahiban challenges the notion of love practiced and propagated in a male-dominated society where women are confined to their homes and denied the right to choose their own life partner as per their wishes. It highlights the struggle faced by her while revolting against popular notions.  The writer conceives a hypothetical situation, in which, against the popular tale, penned down by Punjabi writer Pilu, Mirza and Sahiban start living together but shunned by their kin and ridiculed by people. While society finds no fault with Mirza, it loathes Sahiban for the revolt against the beliefs upheld by it. As the play progresses, while Mirza succumbs to societal pressures, leaving Sahiban but to join her later, she is ready to wait for him due to her unflinching love, which survives the loathing and treatment meted out to her by society and her own lover.

The Chief Guest of the day was Ms. Hardeep Kaur Bhawra, Assistance Excise and Taxation Commissioner. She urged the women to have dreams in their eyes and then step beyond their comfort zones to realize those dreams. She highlighted that in todays world women can do all the things which were considered as male prerogatives in past. She gave the message that all the educated people should work together for the upliftment and empowerment of women.

Ms. Harpreet Kaur Bajaj, Nodal Officer , Gender Sensitization Cell of the Institution, highlighted that the need of the hour is to empower women who can help create a just society. She stated that if women are marginalised and oppressed, then we forgo a large section of human resource capable of contributing constructively to the  economy and culture of the nation. She shared that the theme for International Women’s Day 2018  is – ‘Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives’. She also highlighted that the Gender sensitization Cell of the Institution is committed to provide an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to understand the social and cultural constructions of gender that shapes the experiences of women and men in society.

Dr. Manoj Kumar, Principal DAVIET stated that the International Women’s Day commemorates the movement for women’s rights. While shedding light on the history of International Women’s Day he shared that it was celebrated for the first time on February 28, 1909 in New York. Later on  March 8 was suggested by the 1910 International Woman’s Conference to become an “International Woman’s Day.” For a long time the day was predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted in 1975 by the United Nations. He shared that the institution is committed to generate awareness among students in regard to equality in law, social system and democratic activities. He shared the examples of women succeeding in various walks of life to motivate the students to work for women’s rights and equality in the society.

The function was attended by  Dr. Sonia Chawla, Dean Academics, Dr. Sudhir Sharma, Dean Research and Innovation, Dr. Neeru Malhotra, Head Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Ms. Harpreet Bajaj, Head Department of Computer Science and Technology, Mr. Gaurav Dhuria, Head Department of Mechanical Engineering, Mr Parveen Kakkar, Head Department of Computer Application, Dr. Kanchan L Singh, Head Department of Applied Sciences  and faculty and staff of the institution.