Koraput: The Central University of Odisha, under the leadership of the Vice Chancellor Hon’ble Prof I. Ramabrahmam, is consistently organising online lecture series during the unprecedented COVID-19. With students encouraged to participate in the lectures, Central University is opening up vistas for the students to learn and apply themselves to projects and action research. This is an endeavour which has provided the University the reach and depth in curriculum development and absorption by the students.
On 13th May a session was organised where the renowned humanitarian and Chairperson of JSPL Foundation, Ms Shallu Jindal was in conversation with Mr Charudutta Panigrahi, a well-known author and futurist of India. This was a historic session because the backdrop of the discussions was the Hon’ble PM’s call to the nation about “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ on the previous evening, 12th May. The University’s aim of enhancing its contribution to nation-building received impetus from the appeal of the Hon’ble PM followed by an immediate session on women development & pandemic. Women have always been the primary caregivers; the physical or emotional ailments of other family members become women’s responsibility. Loss of wages, jobs, boredom, withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs, as well as lack of access to uninterrupted treatment of TB or psycho-social illnesses would have far-reaching consequences for the patient as well as for the women in the household. With public hospitals not fully functional with their OPDs, the poorest would have no access to acute or chronic ailments. In such situations, women and adolescent girls from poor families who have the least access to health care would suffer the most. Ms. Shallu Jindal has spent all her years working for women at the last mile. She has been their advocate and champion too.
Shalluji during her conversation with Charuduttaji was narrating her work and the impact of her work which needs to be replicated to bring in the holistic development of the communities, at scale. The Prime Minister asked communities to band together and support each other. The communities, who have few financial resources and no income coming in, would be deeply inspired to see, the acts of philanthropy, community solidarity, and resilience. Charuduttaji engaged the students and the faculty alike with the help of Shalluji’s sharing’s, in a discussion which would have long term effect on the students and the University’s drive to inculcate the sense of nation-building in the students. The students took an active part in the discussions and were immensely motivated by the experience of Shalluji who is nothing short of a “woman in development icon” of our country. The programme was organized by Dr. Kapila Khemundu, HoD I/c. Dept. of Sociology.
The students opined that such discussions should be more frequent so that they can design project works to enable them to work in live projects in the field, both in Koraput, Odisha, and India.