President Droupadi Murmu lays out her vision for an empowered India
Created as a celebration of the strength, resilience and the limitless potential of women, Rising India She Shakti is a Network 18 initiative that took place in New Delhi on 11 August. President Droupadi Murmu, among other notable figures including Union Minister Smriti Irani and ‘Missile Woman of India’ Dr Tessy Thomas spoke at the event.
For her part, the president focused on India’s rich history, the inseparable role that women played in shaping India’s future, and the respect for women that’s deeply embedded in Indian culture.
On arriving at the venue, the president was treated to a beautiful rendition of the national anthem by playback singer Priya Suraiya, and a traditional Chhou dance routine from the president’s home district of Mayurbhanj in Odisha. Asha Bhosle, a figure that needs no introduction, and someone who President Droupadi Murmu affectionately addresses as Asha didi was also present. The president felicitated Asha Bhosle for the indelible mark she left on India’s history, and got her to sing a few verses for the audience.
Taking the stage, President Murmu began her speech with an acknowledgment and celebration of the contributions of the women who attended the event. She noted that it was their handwork and dedication that has helped our country get to this point, and said that they were an inspiration to us all.
Building on that theme, the president then spoke of the government’s plan to make India the third largest economy in the world. A plan which, the president noted, would fail without the contributions of half of India’s population, namely its women. Likening men and women to two wheels of the same car, president Murmu said that we need to work together if we are to move forward.
“India’s women are more very capable, we only need to believe in them and their capabilities to grow”
“A healthy society,” said the president, “is not possible without women.” India’s history is vast and rich, and filled with the contributions of some of the most incredible women, she noted with pride. Adding that India has supported universal voting rights from the beginning and noting that respect for women is at the very core of our value system.
“Women have been presidents and ministers in India long before women rose up in most other countries,” she said, noting how Indians rise up as one whenever women are mistreated or disrespected. “Our women are breaking glass ceilings everywhere, and we must contribute together as a society to create an atmosphere that encourages women to participate at every level of democracy, governance, and business.”
Lastly, the president touched upon the media’s role in realising this vision of an empowered India. The media’s job isn’t just to report news, said the president, but to also teach and direct people when needed.
“Events like this one are cause for celebration and a great step in the right direction. I’m sure more organisations will do the same.”
Rising India She Shakti is a NW18 initiative and presented by Quess alongside associate partners RIL, Goldie, and Tata Motors. The gifting partner for the event was Sirona.The pages slugged ‘Brand Connect’ are equivalent to advertisements and are not written and produced by Forbes India journalists.