Bhubaneswar: KIIT University celebrated International Women’s Day at its premises today. The programme was inaugurated by Shri M. C. Bhandare, His Excellency the Governor of Odisha.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Bhandare said that a woman’s role is pivotal to a healthy society. Status of women in society has improved significantly and there is greater visibility of success of women now than it was some years before. This reflects a strong determination to shed the biased image of women as weak and dependant, he added.

Decrying violence against women, Shri Bhandare said it is neither a new phenomenon, nor is it confined to certain countries. It is a worldwide phenomenon that cuts across all sections of society and culture. He said, constitution grants equality to women and empowers the state to adopt measures for neutralizing the socio-economic and political disadvantages in case of women.

Eminent Odissi exponent, Padma Vibhushan Dr. Sonal Mansingh, in her speech said, God exists where women are worshipped. Mother is a creator, so she is also a form of God, she said. She also recited a Hindi poem highlighting the theme of women equality.

Ms. Pooja Bedi, eminent actress and columnist said, women should join hands to face the day-to-day anti female activities. Ms. Dolly Thakore, eminent thespian and columnist remarked that even though it is said that mind set of men are changing towards women, statistics points otherwise. A woman faces molestation or rape every half an hour and death every one and half an hour, she pointed out.

In his welcome address, Dr. A. Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS said that history is witness that where women get importance and respect, there is prosperity. In KIIT 30 percent seats are reserved for girls, KISS too places high importance on girl’s education.

The inaugural ceremony was followed by two panel discussions on the topic ‘Gender Equality – Leitmotiv of a Civilized Society’.

Eminent panelists included Dr. Shruti Mohapatra, Founder, Anjali; Prof. Nayntara Padhi, IGNOU, New Delhi; Ms. Adyasha Satapathy, Chief Executive, Dharitri and Odisha Post; Ms Tanaya Patnaik, Director, Radio Chocolate; Ms. Anu Choudhury, Ollywood actress, Ms. Aruna Mohanty, Noted Odissi Dancer and Ms. Sangita Gosain, Professor, Culture University.