OTV’s ‘Prerana’ salutes women achievers

Bhubaneswar: Premiere Odia news channel OTV organized ‘Prerana’, an annual event to honour women whose life and work are an inspiration for others, here last week. The programme, which also includes a discussion on women-related themes by a panel of eminent personalities drawn from different walks of life, was telecast by the channel on the occasion of International Women’s Day today.

Jagi Mangat Panda, director and co-founder of OTV’s holding company Odisha Television Network, delivered the introductory remarks. Six women achievers were honoured on the occasion for their outstanding achievement in their respective fields.

Bollywood heart-throb of yesteryears Sharmila Tagore, who was the chief guest at the event this year, shared her thoughts and experiences on host of issues revolving around women. Tagore also talked about her personal life starting from schooling to stardom and her cricketer husband late Mansoor Ali Khan ‘Tiger’ Pataudi.

The programme also saw live discussions on much talked about issues such as 33% reservation for women in jobs and political positions. Besides, a hot debate on gender-related issues was another highlight of the event.

Speaking on the occasion, State Health secretary Arati Ahuja pointed out that women constitute about 50% of the total population in our country, but what is being asked is only 33% reservation. She emphasized that efforts should be made to give a fair share to women in all fields.

Academy of Yoga and Oriental Studies director Indulata Das and Sun Clinic director Dr Vinita Sawhney also presented their views on various issues related to women. Ollywood actress Archita Sahu too shared her thoughts on the issue and asked for same rights and opportunities for women as for men.

Those who were felicitated in the function are sisters Chandini and Tribeni Chatria, Gayatri Behera, Gitanjanli Panda, Ipili Kanama and Gargi Bhattacharya.

The Chatria sisters, who belong to Chakotia Bhunjia tribe, were honoured for their remarkable contribution in the field of education. In 2007, both the sisters went to school without caring much about the archaic rules set by their community and paid a price for that as they were excommunicated. Despite hurdles, the sisters completed their secondary education. Currently, they are working towards development of girl children in their locality.

Another woman achiever Gayatri Behera, who is working as a traffic constable in Odisha Police since 2009, was felicitated at the function for her excellent contribution towards traffic management in the busy streets of Cuttack. Notably, she was the winner of Best Traffic Constable award.

Judo coach Gitanjanli Panda was honoured for her contribution towards teaching self-defence tactics to young men and women of the State. She has taken up the task to make self-defence a part of life of young mass, especially women. Panda is the first woman in the country to become an international judo referee.

Without caring about dangers from Maoists Ipili Kanama, a teacher at Kalimela Colony School in Malkangiri, has created a short of movement to educate children from the tribal-dominated area. Her only aim is to create educated and disciplined students.

Untimely death of her 15-year old son has not deterred Gargi Bhattacharya to live her life for a cause. She is doing a research on autism besides her core area of interest on theatre and documentary film making. She herself is busy with upbringing her second son who is having autism.