NEW YORK CITY (TIP): The Consulate General of India, New York hosted its tenth Media India Lecture Series with a lecture “On Women who lead” by Nirupama Rao on December 16 at the Consulate Ballroom. She spoke about three leading ladies of India who brought ‘elemental changes’ in society -Hansa Mehta, Vijaya Lakshami Pandit, and Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay. Rao outlined how these three fought for social justice and demonstrated the power of women.
Hansa Mehta represented India on the Nuclear Sub-Committee on the status of women in 1946. As the Indian delegate on the UN Human Rights Commission in 1947-48, she was responsible for changing the language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from “all men are created equal” to all human beings, highlighting the need for gender equality. She later went on to become the vice chairman of the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations in 1950. She was also a member of the Executive Board of UNESCO.
Vijaya Lakshami Pandit was the first Indian woman to hold a cabinet post. Following India’s independence she entered the diplomatic service and became India’s ambassador to the Soviet Union, the United States and Mexico), and Spain. Between 1946 and 1968, she headed the Indian delegation to the United Nations. In 1953, she became the first woman President of the United Nations General Assembly.
Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay is most remembered for her contribution to the Indian independence movement; for being the driving force behind the renaissance of Indian handicrafts, handlooms, and theatre in independent India; and for upliftment of the socio-economic standard of Indian women by pioneering the co-operative movement.
Nirupma Rao said she had learnt from them many important lessons of her life .
Prof. Manu Bhagavan of the department of History at Hunter College CUNY moderated a post lecture conversation with Rao where she shared her personal experiences as an Indian diplomat.
Earlier Consul General Ambassador Dnyaneshwar M Mulay in his introductory remarks reiterated that the Consulate will continue to make every effort for the promotion of Indian intellectual heritage, Art and Culture through various cultural events and the Media India Lecture-Series, established in March 2014, with an objective to enlighten young students, mainstream American media and the American people as a whole, about India’s global image, identity, aspirations, role and projection in the contemporary world.