Guest Speakers, Ms. Sneha Deokate, Deputy Collector, Pune District, Ms. Shital Pawar, Executive Editor, Sakal Newspapers and Mr. Manish Karnik, CSR Head, Panasonic India, expressed the need for sensitivity to women-related issues, advocacy, community engagement through storytelling and inclusivity while serving as a source of inspiration for urban women. Dr. Rajashree Kashalkar President, Sharada Shakti, Pune, shared their effort in strengthening the role of women in sustainable development.
Dr. Rajashree Joshi, Programme Director, BAIF, reiterated the perception of the Founder, Dr. Manibhai Desai as women being equal partners in development, their social capital worth, involvement in farm, off-farm and non-farm activities; operation of an indigenous cuisine corner – “Nahari”; e-dosts in remote locations; climate action initiatives in Uttarakhand; rehabilitation of widows of Vidarbha region; livestock keepers; custodians of agrobiodiversity resources; Gram Shakti initiative, hygiene of adolescent girls, personal bathing space facility for women in Betul, Madhya Pradesh and presence of 2500 active SHGs reaching out to 30,000 women in BAIF’s locations.
Mr. Bharat Kakade, President, BAIF highlighted the involvement of women in the Livestock, Wadi and Natural Resources Management programmes of BAIF and expressed admiration for “Padma Shri” recipient Hirbai Ibrahim Lobi from the Siddhi community of African origin in Junagadh, Gujarat and a BAIF participant, confidence demonstrated by Jugra Devi from a backward community in Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh many years ago by sharing her experience in promotion of vermicomposting at a national-level meeting in New Delhi, excellent skills demonstrated by women in marking contour lines after being trained in the use of “A” frame and in mango grafting and expansion of BAIF programmes to Tamil Nadu with an outreach of 33 lakh families and women contributing significantly to this growth.
Earlier, Dr. Ashok Pande, Group Vice President, Scientific Research and Livestock Development, Mr. Shrinivas Kulkarni, Group Vice President, Finance and Dr. Alok Juneja, Vice President, Programmes and Livestock Development, BAIF, expressed admiration for the contribution of women to the society in general and rural economy in particular, immense contribution of women to the development programmes of BAIF for more than 50 years, their recognition at the national level and the need for greater participation of women, support from their families and equality in terms of wages and remuneration. Ms. Sujata Kangude, Thematic Programme Executive, Women and Development, BAIF, proposed the vote of thanks. Ms. Suneeta Kuvalekar, Personal Secretary to the President, BAIF, rendered the opening song. Those present on the occasion included senior officials from Panasonic India, Mr. Sujit Gijare, Group Vice President, HR and Administration, BAIF and thematic, administrative, finance and marketing teams from BAIF Head Office.