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Vishakha : Gender and Mental Health

9th March, 2021

Resource Persons: Ms. Divya Hegde, CEO and Founder of the Integrated Penguin;

Ms. Raksha Agarwal, Director and Founder of Zariya Mental Health and Counsellor; Ms. Aishwarya Rathi, CEO and Founder of Astra Brand; Ms. Manisha Bhati, CEO and Co – Founder at G Hunt India and Sister Lucy Kurien After the inauguration of the Programme by Dr. B Nanwani, Director SVIMS, Ms. Divya Hegde, stated that dreams have no Gender and the first step to women empowerment is that women should acknowledge their ambitions. Covid -19 has struck a bigger blow on women as most women are front line workers. She advised that women must decide on trade-offs and learn to be selfish and do the things they like.

This was followed by a panel discussion with Ms. Raksha Agarwal, Aishwarya Rathi and Manisha Bhati. Raksha Agarwal, spoke about the necessity of creating awareness about Mental Health especially among women as during pandemic they have had to bear pressures at home and employment. Apart from facing disparity at work, women have been subjected to domestic violence. Research shows that 70% of mental health workers are women and most of the nurses who helped in covid have developed mental health symptoms like depression, anxiety, etc.

Ms. Aishwarya Rathi, asserted that women must help out other women by talking/reaching out to someone in need, and seek help when required. Ms. Manisha Bhati, spoke about her journey in her career and how she successfully faced challenges and obstacles.

Later a short video was played on women empowerment. Post lunch we, we had a dialogue under Nari Sakti with Sister Lucy Kurien who spoke about her challenges in running different shelter homes in various parts of India and yet feeling blessed with special skills and powers enjoyed by a woman to overcome difficulties.

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