APN News

  • Sunday, March, 2021| Today's Market | Current Time: 07:23:33
  • Bengaluru: The second edition of Orion Wempower, the women’s day festival that was focussed on celebrating real life women achievers who made a difference during Covid times was held at Orion by Brigade, today. A special felicitation programme was organised to salute the courage and compassion of these women and recognize their contribution during the peak of the pandemic in the city. The festival was curated by Sreemoyee Piu Kundu, an acclaimed journalist and columnist on gender and sexuality and was presided over by Nirupa Shankar, Executive Director, Brigade Enterprises.

    The women champions who were felicitated include Roopa D – IPS, Kavitha Lankesh – Film Director, Dr Sandhya Raghu – Doctor, BMCRI Super-Specialty Hospital, Premila Andrews –  President, Air Force Wives Welfare Association (L), Susan Timothy – International Life Coach, Moya Caddy – Early Childhood Educator, Arundhati Ghosh – Executive Director, India Foundation for the Arts, Srijana Pradhan – Nurse in Aster CMI Hospital, Madhumitha Venkataraman – Diversity & Inclusion Evangelist, Vieshaka L Dutta – HR professional and leads Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) for India at Publicis Sapient, Aparna Vedapuri Singh-Founder and CEO of Women’s Web and Andaleeb Wajid – Author. The event also witnessed a panel discussion which was moderated by Sreemoyee Piu Kundu and featured Kavitha Lankesh, Roopa D – IPS and Dr. Sandhya Raghu who deliberated on the different issues faced by women and ways to overcome them.

    “Orion Wempower was conceptualised to celebrate and showcase remarkable achievements of women on Women’s Day every year, and this year we thought it apt to recognise the efforts of women champions who made a difference during the COVID-19 lockdown last year. We are in awe of the acts of kindness displayed by these women, and it was our privilege to give them a platform to share their experiences during those very difficult times. I am glad that Wempower enabled us to come together and acknowledge their achievements. We also look at this event as an inspiration for fellow women to go beyond themselves and help create an inclusive world. More pointedly, women empowerment has always been of utmost importance to us at Brigade Group, evident in the diverse, significant roles that women have within the company. We are really proud of our women Brigadiers who have stood strong and been resilient throughout this tough year.” said Nirupa Shankar, Executive Director, Brigade Enterprises.

    Event curator, Sreemoyee Piu Kundu, said, “In its second instalment, it’s been an absolute honour to conceptualise the theme and curate Wempower 2021, in association with Orion by Brigade; an event that goes beyond corporate tokenism and celebrates the true spirit of March 8. Wempower 2021 recognises and salutes women champions who turned the great adversity that the pandemic unleashed into hope for the lesser privileged. We hope that these stories of personal grit, survival and outreach help the society rebuild communities.”

    Speaking at the event, Roopa D said, “It feels wonderful to be honoured and celebrated by Orion Malls, as part of the Wempower 2021 initiative celebrating women champions.  As per the Government Order issued in August 2020, the Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka had formed 8 teams involving one IAS and one IPS officer in each team to ensure the availability of 50% beds in private hospitals for the Government for Covid patients. Rates for treatment of Covid patients were also fixed by the Government. My team was the first and only team to ensure to stop exorbitant pricing by some private hospitals. I conducted raids and ensured that the excess payment of an average of Rs.4 lakh each taken by these hospitals from 40 patients (total Rs.1.6 Crores) were refunded back to patients. I am glad that I have been able to make a difference in the lives of these people.”

    Speaking at the event, Kavitha Lankesh said, “I am proud and honoured to be a Wempower 2021 Champion and to be chosen among women who have strived to contribute in their respective fields, during the difficult times of Covid.  My journey during Covid has been both positive and negative. The positive aspects included spending more time with family, the fact that pollution levels came down and the environment got a chance to rejuvenate. The negative aspects included the lack of work which was frustrating and the creative block that had set in due to bleak prospects. In empathy towards daily wage workers and migrants, we raised funds, procured rations and distributed laptops and phones so that their children could continue online classes.”

    Dr. Sandhya Gowda said, “I am excited to be honored as a Wempower champion 2021, because it is extremely gratifying to be heard, heeded and recognized as a woman healthcare professional who contributed and made a difference during the testing times of the COVID pandemic.  At the outbreak of the pandemic, I volunteered to join the COVID task force and was made the core committee member. It was a great challenge to strengthen the resources and logistics to support front line warriors during the lockdown and peak of the pandemic. I felt gratified to handle the grievances of patients in isolation and alleviate the uncertainty that their families went through.” 

    Susan Timothy set up an essential delivery service for the needy and provided financial assistance to single parents who had lost their jobs. She also engaged in story telling for children between 3 to 13 years of age, aimed at mental and emotional wellness of children throughout the lockdown period. She also engaged in feeding around 200 dogs in and around her locality. Moya Caddy set up Super Moms of India, an online platform where mothers provided solace and comfort to each other through the pandemic. Arundathi Ghosh organised two fundraisers – one for Sangama (an organisation that works with sex workers, transgenders and sexual minorities) and the other for Desi (an organisation that employs many families of weavers). Other than raising funds, she lent a listening ear to concerns and anxieties and provided emotional support to needy people.   

    For Srijana Pradhan, a nurse, working through the worst of the pandemic wasn’t an easy task. Despite the mental agony of seeing a large number of dead bodies, which kept piling up every day, she stuck to her vocation, even administering CPR to a Covid 19 patient. Madhumita Venkataraman worked closely with people with disabilities during the pandemic and with those undergoing domestic violence to provide consolation to them. Vieshaka L Dutta worked as a strong ally for the LGBT+ support movement in India and supported advocacy for the community at workplaces. Aparna Vedpuri Singh’s goal was to help her readers by sharing true stories of how women were dealing with challenges, as well as useful resources that could help them, whether in the space of mental health, jobs or city-specific Covid-related support groups. Andaleed Wajid continued to write her books despite the pandemic and lockdown so that the need for books for the general public did not fall behind. 

    As part of the Women’s day celebrations, there were live-music performances at all Orion Malls across the city. The all-girl band ‘The Void’, gave a show-stopping performance at the iconic Orion Mall at Brigade Gateway