Chandigarh November 25, 2023-The Centre for Human Rights and Duties and Office of the Dean International Students, Panjab University in collaboration with Western Sydney University Australia organised 10 Days academic engagement on the theme “Closing the Gap: Enhancing Women’s Wellbeing in India” from Nov. 15 to 25, 2023.

The Australian students from Western Sydney University had been selected under the New Colombo Plan to participate in the programme in India. They were at the Centre for Human Rights and Duties, Panjab University, Chandigarh the academic partner of this programme wherein they engaged in academic sessions, workshops and field trips on gender-related issues . The Centre for Human Rights and Duties organised 6 academic sessions spanning over two days planned to acquaint the students with various facets of the opportunities and challenges of women’s well-being in India.

The Program Coordinator, Dr. Upneet Kaur Mangat, Chairperson, Centre for Human Rights and Duties informed that the academic sessions had been curated on theme “Women’s Well-being in India” wherein pioneers both from academia, health sector, industry and NGOs in field of gender had contributed as resource persons and session chairs. The objective was to give an overview of emerging opportunities and challenges in women’s well-being in India to the Australian students with a focus on both conceptual understanding and exposure to lived realities of women.

The academic exchange programme culminated today with valedictory session wherein students from Western Sydney University, Centre for Human Rights and Duties, Panjab University and Meher Baba Charitable Trust (MBCT, the NGO partner of this academic exchange) shared reflections of their experiences of this academic exchange. The students expressed that it was a great learning experience and they learnt how self-care is paramount in keeping good health and well-being.

In the reflection/ experience sharing session the experiences were shared by students from WSU, MBCT and Centre for Human Rights and Duties.

Prof. Ronki Ram from Department of Political Science the Chief guest for the valedictory address expressed that when you interact with people from other country you do not only interact with the person, you also interact with the assumptions to the place the person belongs to. He mentioned that when you meet such persons, you may learn from their differences but you may find many similarities also. Thus, such interactions are needs of the hour. He also spoke on the importance of self-care, not only of physical health but for mental health as well.

Ms. Donya from WSU shared her experience and expressed that “ we gained the knowledge about India from the academic sessions and what we experienced actually was when we went on the field to experience what it is to be a woman in India”. She stated that we need knowledge to initiate the change in society. She requested WSU students, through the experience they had from the mobility program, they can inspire others.

Dr. Renu Narchal, faculty advisor from WSU in her closing remarks, shared her gratitude for the success of the program and also expressed that we leave our footprints on every place we go we leave our fingerprints on every heart we touch.

Dr. S.S. Bhinder, from UICET, thanked the chief guest of the valedictory session Prof. Ronki Ram, Panjab University administration, Prof. Sushil K Kansal, Dean International Students, Dr.Upneet Kaur Mangat, Chairperson, Centre for Human Rights and Duties, Prof. Namita Gupta, Director Public Relations and Dr. Renu Narchal from WSU for successful completion of the mobility program.