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STUDENT ZONE

HOW SPICE CELEBRATED WOMEN’S DAY

Some remarkable words were shared on the morning of 9 March, 2019 at the St. Paul’s Institute of Communication Education, Mumbai. This was held in celebration of Women’s Day. Four speakers on the panel expressed their viewpoints and engaged the audience with their thought-provoking speeches. The institute hosted  Alpana Parida, a former Head of Marketing at Tanishq; Priscilla Buthello, an image consultant supporting self-positivity; Luis Miranda, a CA currently working towards non-profit organisations; and Merlyn D’souza, composer and musician; who spoke on different themes on womanhood and what it’s like to be a woman in this day and age, in India. 

At the start, we had the Director of the Institute, Fr. (Dr.) Dominic D’Silva, share some wise words on how family is the most important and in today’s age, people tend to be ungrateful. He emphasized the fact that without a mother, there wouldn’t be lives. In addition, he mentioned something essential, that is women deserve respect every day of a year and not just on Women’s Day, and that trying to be appreciative for only a day via text is absurd.

Alpana Parida, a true feminist, spoke on how women throughout history have struggled with having to make endless compromises, and the pain of being rejected because they choose to shift their priorities from the home to wanting a career.  She also gave us an example of her experience that she had herself witnessed, showcasing how women have been tagged with certain gender roles, that in reality are quite neutral. Her speech delved on the upliftment of women, more precisely how women are self-sufficient human beings.

Priscilla Buthello, a mother of three women, has had an inspiring journey of success. She strongly believed that the world should be a gender-balanced community, wherein every person regardless of their gender have the opportunity to strive for better. Her keywords highlighted “Balance for Better”. A career and a family can and should be balanced simultaneously, by both the genders. She pleaded with the students of SPICE to strike that delicate balance between family and career.  She believed that it is possible and in a technological era, it is pretty convenient too.

Luis Miranda, the brains behind a successful organization, CORO that predominantly employs women volunteers, started off the audience on a humorous note and further gave us an insight into the thin line of women being primarily considered as home-makers. His speech focused more on doing what makes one happy and it should be done willingly. The topic of cultural bias was brought into picture, with examples of the Khasi Tribe, where women can only marry within the tribe and a place where families only consider sons to be important and that the lives of women are negligible. Rightfully said by Mr. Miranda, “As society changes, it is important that cultural bias goes away”. His organization, CORO functions on one motto, ‘Take Charge’. He believes that the world has been changing as more girls are being educated. In the end he said a wonderful statement that each person should live by, ‘You should not be afraid to live life on your own terms’.

Finally, going back to her humble beginnings, Merlyn D’souza, musician, composer and director of  various Bollywood classics, explained that every day is Women’s Day and women should be treated with respect throughout the year. Introspecting back to her very own life, one of the tangents that she started on, was humble beginnings lead to a never-ending journey in life. She shared with the audience her journey to success, from the time that the only music she knew was the noise of the trains and azaan, to then performing on stage with amplifiers, mixers and celebrities. Throughout her journey, she has also seen the music industry evolving as she went on to learn various forms of music. Her fundamental idea of living life is, ‘Connect the dots, Connect with each other’. She inspires not just every little girl wanting to sing, but every person to live life the way they wish to. She believes that, ‘Everyone is unique, no one is cloned’. Before leaving, she performed one of the classics from Bollywood and another with a touch of Mozart to it.

The vote of thanks was made by the Dean of SPICE, Carol Andrade, who thanked each guest for taking time to share experiences and words that the students can live by. Nothing feels better than celebrating Women’s Day,because it feels good be celebrated in a world where respect is not earned through hard work but by differences and fabricated superiority.

Siddhi More

About Siddhi More

Siddhi More is a Mumbai-based student in the Bachelor of Mass Media course at St Pauls Institute of Communication Education, Mumbai. When she's not in class or busy with assignments, she spends her time reading, sketching, traveling, watching Youtube videos and admiring art. She aspires to be a journalist and is avidly interested in politics, tech and crime.

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