Encouraging women to break gender-biased roles
Women’s Day is celebrated across nations recognizing their contribution to every sphere. The day also aims at accelerating gender equality by empowering women. SRM University, Andhra Pradesh observes a week-long celebration that reached its orchestral height on Saturday. Upholding the spirit of equality, faculty, staff and students came together to participate in fun activities, games and competitions hosted throughout the week. This included spoon and lemon race, tug of war, bucket and ball, musical chair, singing competition, dancing competition, Mathematics contest- Ms. Hypatia, and essay competition. Everyone in the campus observed 7th March as an Ethnic Day by draping themselves in traditional wear, enunciating the beauty of the occasion.
With grand exuberance, SRM AP welcomed the Chief Guest, Smt. B. Vijayakeerthi, IRSE, Divisional Engineer, South-Central Railway, Guntur. She initiated the celebration by lighting the ceremonial lamp, along with Prof. D. Narayana Rao, Pro VC, Dr. B. Sivakumar, Deputy Registrar, Ms. Revathi Balakrishnan, Convener, and a student. Breaking gender biased roles, Smt. B. Vijayakeerthi pursued a career in Civil Engineering. A student of IIT Madras, she later aced Indian Railways Service of Engineers examinations and joined Indian Railways. She recalls, “From the day I chose Civil Engineering, I was questioned by society as the norm was that women avoided taking up engineering domains that involved field-work. However, irrespective of my gender, I persuaded my dream and challenged myself to excel against all odds. Initially, although encouragement was rarely found, persistence and hard work ensured that support started pouring in from all ends.”
Smt. B. Vijayakeerthi set a record by improving the railway track parameters from 96 to 130, and her phenomenal work of eliminating 10 unmanned level crossing gates within a period of 6 months, brought her immense recognition. Persuading young students to follow their dreams, she says “Career choices are solely personal, and it does not depend on gender. One should have the confidence to aim big, and also to take a leap towards achieving the dream.”
The winners of the competitions hosted as a part of women’s day celebration, were honoured by the Chief Guest. The spectacle concluded with the students giving out a social message through cultural program – a skit, song, and dance performance. Their acts demonstrated the societal challenges faced by women and the necessity of bringing about a change to empower them.
Picture credit (photography society)