Award winning actor, director and activist Nandita Das addressed students of KC College, Churchgate, in a talk and interactive session on the topic ‘Changing gender equations in a patriarchal world’ on August 22, 2013.
Addressing the gathering in the Rama Watumull Auditorium of the College, Das said, “I find my identity of a woman taking precedence over everything else.” Realising that she is a privileged woman, allowed to ask pertinent questions to the society, she said, “Usually, when we talk about women minority, we hold up just half the sky.” Sensitising the audience about atrocities against women, she said, “Thank god I am not a man; I would have died of guilt.”
The large gathering of students raised vital and relevant questions which Das answered in a very forthright and blunt manner. She said, “The problem lies in the culture of silence that women still maintain.” She exhorted students to speak up and take action for the right cause.
The event was organised by the Gender Issues Cell of KC College in collaboration with Nandita Gandhi, one of the Founder-Directors of Akshara, a Women’s Resource Centre in Mumbai. Calling sexual harassment an unnecessary irritant, Gandhi said, “Men can support women and help in its prevention by understanding how much it upsets and destabilises young women.”
Manju Nichani, the Principal of KC college, said, “A gender-just and enabling environment for both girls and boys is a sine qua non for a healthy democratic set up in any educational institution.” Dr Leena Pujari, the Convener of the Women’s Development Cell of the College, added, “The College has taken progressive steps to enhance students’ understanding of gender issues and dismantle stereotypes.”