NEW YORK CITY (TIP): The Class of 2017 comprising all-women-students from International Relations and Global Affairs Program of the State University of New York had an audience with the Consul General on June 6, 2016 as part of their summer program of meeting influential lady officers in New York. This program was supported by The Jewish Foundation for Education of Women (JFEW). The significance of the event is that it is the first time the Consulate had such a ‘Mentoring Session’ where the Consul General (Mrs.) Riva Ganguly Das spoke about India and shared her experiences as a woman diplomat in the foreign service.
The JFEW SUNY International Relations and Global Affairs Program aims to prepare female SUNY students for careers in the international relations and global affairs fields. The Program also prepares the students to become leaders through mentoring opportunities and peer networks.
Speaking on the occasion, Consul General introduced India to the students as a young nation but an old civilization. Even in current times, India is a unique country where civilization, heritage and modernization co-exist in society. She informed the students about the various programs that the Government has initiated to boost economy and growth of the nation and how women enjoy equal rights in all fields including the amendment in India’s constitution to reserve seats for women in local government. Touching on the subject of Jewish integration in Indian society, Consul General Das informed the students that India enjoys the distinction as being the only country that never discriminated against Jewish community and mentioned Government’s every effort to protect many of the synagogues even after mass migration of Jews to Israel. She spoke about her postings outside India and what her role as Consul General in New York entails.
This was followed by a short film on making of ‘Saree’ – its significance as traditional clothing for women since time immemorial and how it provides jobs to many people thus keeping the handicraft industry thriving. A Q & A session followed.