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Women leaders tell their stories at event hosted by Consulate

BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE

Atlanta, GA, April 2, 2024: As women’s empowerment continues to garner global focus, March 8th, celebrated as International Women’s Day each year, serves as a reminder of the importance of gender equality and the need to uplift women across all facets of society. It is also a time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women. In line with this philosophy, the Consul General of India, Atlanta, hosted International Women’s Day for the very first time at the consulate premises on March 11, 2024.

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The event featured accomplished women from myriad fields of work and leaders of nonprofit organizations who have broken barriers and defied stereotypes to lead and contribute to communities. Nita Sardana, VP and Chief Impact Officer of the Innova Foundation, presided as the guest of honor.

Hon. Ramesh Babu Laxmanan, in his welcome address, underlined the significance of women with the signature quote, “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” Highlighting the Government of India’s dedication to promoting “Nari Shakti” and fostering women’s leadership, he noted the significance of the international observance to celebrate women. Mr. Laxmanan also highlighted the Historic Enactment of the Women’s Reservation Bill – the milestone Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, which seeks to reserve one-third of the total number of seats for women in Lok Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies, and the Delhi Assembly. The bill also states that one-third of the total number of seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes shall be reserved for women of those groups in the Lok Sabha and the legislative assemblies. He also underlined numerous welfare schemes launched by the Government of India aimed at empowering women.

Consul General Ramesh Babu.

Some of the purely women-centric central government initiatives under the banner of Startup India include The Women Entrepreneurship Platform – an aggregator platform that includes information and services relevant to women entrepreneurs, Mudra Yojana for Women which provides loans up to ₹10 lakh to women entrepreneurs, and the Women Scientists Scheme aimed at providing opportunities to women scientists between the ages of 27 and 57 who want to return to the mainstream after a career break, among others.

Nita Sardana

“I was honored to represent the Innova Foundation at this event, and I’m grateful to the women whose stories of ambition and resilience inspired all in attendance. Community engagement plays a crucial role in advancing progress for gender equality. I commend the consulate for their efforts and look forward to continued collaboration on our shared mission for a more inclusive future!” Guest of honor, Nita Sardana, Chief Impact Officer of the Innova Foundation, remarked.

Consul General Ramesh Babu with the Consulate staff.

Opening with the introduction of all the women who serve at the consulate, the evening spotlighted the achievements of women hailing from a myriad of backgrounds including medicine, entrepreneurship, law, journalism, arts, sports, nonprofits, community leaders, and changemakers who have proven their potential. As each guest rose to speak about their journeys, the significant role women play in societal progress and the importance of actively advancing gender equality and inclusive development of women on the global stage was underlined.

Guests returned home with a sumptuous dinner, a red rose, and a renewed commitment to continue to grow and enhance the lives of other women by working towards eliminating obstacles that hinder their progress.

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