Women achievers from various walks of life gathered in the city on Thursday to celebrate Indian womanhood and discuss the need to help the younger generation better understand the concepts of modernity and empowerment.

Organised by the Swami Vivekananda 150 Women’s Initiative, the convention on ‘Indian Women as the Guide for the World at Crossroads’, highlighted the importance of creating awareness among women about their role in promoting Indian values and creating family-oriented societies at a global level.

V. Shanta, chairperson, Cancer Institute and chairperson of the initiative’s reception committee, said the country is grappling with issues such as violence and corruption. To improve the degenerating social environment, women must be made to realise their rights and responsibilities.

Padma Subrahmanyam, veteran danseuse and chairperson of the initiative’s organising committee, spoke about the impact of western influences in the country. Citing examples from epics and mythology, she said women were respected in Indian society. Individual freedom without responsibility would lead to a deterioration of values and Indian women qualify as a guide to the world to bring about change.

Tracing the traditional system of savings in Indian families, columnist and corporate advisor S. Gurumurthy said Indian women contributed immensely to the gross domestic product, and the growth of the Indian economy through savings.

India and China had high a GDP in the 1700s. However, the GDP in India dipped following colonial exploitation. Indian women have the capability to influence other countries on contributing to the country’s economy, he said.

While Rajashree Birla of the Aditya Birla Group underlined the importance of women in social progress and the need to address issues such as female infanticide, Prema Pandurang, founder of Kshetropasana spoke about the spiritual dimensions of Indian womanhood.

The Initiative plans to take forward the concept as a nation-wide movement and has already addressed over 1,200 women.

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