Kolkata, 7th August 2023: Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in collaboration with Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate hosts Baaghini 2, a four-day long women empowerment programme, on Saturday, 5th August 2023 at Sister Nivedita University campus. It felicitated the brave hearts and minds of our beloved city. The main goal of the event was to empower women with self-defense skills that boost their inner and outer confidence. The inaugural event was graced by emmet dignitaries including Mr. Gaurav Sharma, IPS, Hon’ble Commissioner of Police, Ms. Charu Sharma, IPS, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Detective Department, Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate, Ms. Debarati Mukhopadhyay, Author, Mr. Sanjay K Jain, Chairman, ICC National Committee on Textiles and MD, TT Limited and Prof. Dhrubajyoti Chattopadhyay, Vice Chancellor, Sister Nivedita University.
While explaining the initiative, Mr. Gaurav Sharma, IPS, Hon’ble Commissioner of Police, Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate, said, “Empowering women goes beyond words; it is a commitment to action. I am extremely grateful to everyone here who is or wants to be a part of Baaghini. We empower women to become strong and confident through a series of workshops, self-defence techniques, martial arts, and interactive sessions. Our main focus is on enabling women who may not be familiar with self-defence techniques to gain valuable skills through physical training and self-defence sessions. These sessions are expertly led by Miss Mona Lisa, a renowned national boxing champion with extensive experience. One crucial aspect we emphasize is the importance of self-perception and how we perceive others, particularly when it comes to interactions with the police force. We encourage open communication and aim to foster a positive interface with law enforcement. Our ultimate goal is to create a safe and supportive environment where women can stand strong and empowered. You should feel empowered to ask questions, learn from interactions, and be confident in standing up for your rights. Passion and dreams play a significant role in shaping your future. You should pursue what you love and be independent thinkers. Do not be afraid to challenge stereotypes and break barriers. We want to create fearless and empowered individuals who can contribute to building a better India. Throughout this programme, we will have experts sharing their experiences, lectures on laws and development, and opportunities for you to engage and ask questions. As we move forward, I hope we can continue to learn and grow together because in the long run, your knowledge and experience are what will empower you. Experts are here to help you and provide valuable insights into law enforcement and related processes. Their experience and knowledge can be a great resource for all of us. Let us continue to strive for excellence and work towards a safer and more secure community. Together, we can make a difference and build a fearless and independent nation.”
Commenting on the initiative, Ms. Charu Sharma, IPS, Additional Deputy Commissioner said, “During Baaghini 1, we had the opportunity to interact with some highly motivated women. I hope that we can live up to our expectations. The programme of Baaghini is about giving confidence to go into the world and face all the challenges. Being a member of the force, I’ve realised that women tend to hold back due to a lack of confidence; as a result, our goal is to help you feel at ease in your surrounding legal environment and to educate you on what to do and the applicable laws in the event of an issue.”
Commenting on the event, Debarati Mukhopadhyay, Author, said, “When I first learned about Baaghini, I questioned the rationale behind discriminating between men and women. Our historical records reveal the presence of formidable women such as Gargi, Apala, and Lopamudra, who stood on equal footing with men in terms of education, culture, and intellect. However, societal shifts led to the subjugation and marginalisation of women over time. We have made significant progress in empowering women, and if we eschew toxic masculinity, women are in no way inferior to men. The essence of empowerment lies in access to education, financial stability, and good health. This initiative holds the potential to impart valuable knowledge to young girls and propel them towards a promising future.”
Mr. Dhrubajyoti Chattopadhyay, Vice Chancellor, Sister Nivedita University, stated, “I appreciate the Indian Chamber of Commerce and the Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate for this initiative. Speaking of the first event, Baaghini 1, it was also a big success. This event is for Baaghini 2. This programme teaches several crucial lessons, such as self-defence and how to defend others as well, making it a very significant endeavour. I want to thank everyone for coming, and I hope this will be a success as well.”
Being a part of this initiative, Mr. Satyam Roychowdhury, Founder & Managing Director, Techno India Group and Chancellor Sister Nivedita University, expressed his gratitude and said, “I extend my heartiest support to such initiatives taken under the leadership of Bidhannagar Commissioner, Mr. Gaurav Sharma and his team. He hopes that such initiatives will act as a guiding force to make young women understand the laws and responsibilities towards their safety in a practical and responsible way.”
Mr. Sanjay Jain, Chairman, ICC National Committee on Textiles and MD, TT Limited, said, “I would like to start by thanking the Bidhannagar police for giving us this opportunity for organising this event. For me, this is not an event, it is a movement, and it should run across the country. Women are often referred to as “lionesses,” ruling not just our homes but even our nations. This effort is for a common woman who speaks out and carries herself proudly, commanding the respect she merits. A secondary goal of this project is to empower women from inside so they may stand shoulder to shoulder with us and advance alongside us. I want to thank all of the sponsors that joined us for the event, the chance to provide all of these t-shirts and to all the participants for joining us today.”