Breaking glass ceilings: India Habitat Centre gets its first female president in 3 decades
4 May, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma
Former Indian Ambassador to Netherlands, Bhaswati Mukherjee has been appointed as the President of India Habitat Centre on Tuesday during the 33rd Annual General Body Meeting, IHC.
Former Indian Ambassador to Netherlands, Bhaswati Mukherjee has been appointed as the President of India Habitat Centre on Tuesday during the 33rd Annual General Body Meeting, IHC. Mukherjee is the first woman president of IHC, one of India’s most comprehensive convention centers to bring individuals and institutions working in diverse habitat and environment-related areas together.
Addressing the meet, she said “The greatest source of satisfaction for all of us is the fact that the India Habitat Centre has emerged from the crisis stronger than ever. The decision to take over the operation of the hospitality facilities directly was amply justified, as witnessed by the financial performance of the Centre in 2021-22, which was far better than had been anticipated at the beginning of the year. As a result, the Centre is now debt-free, and its finances are once again on a robust footing.”
“These positive developments enable us to plan and undertake major renovations and upgradation of the infrastructure, that had been put on hold during the pandemic. These include the replacement of 5 lifts in the Hospitality Block, renovation of the Stein Auditorium, renovation of the Sun Screens in the North Block courtyards, renovation of some toilets, and renovation of the utilities shafts in the Guest Rooms Block. Special mention may be made here of the complete renovation, modernisation and re-imagining of our Food Court, now called Habiteria, which has opened just yesterday. These steps will help in giving all of us an improved experience of the Centre and its facilities, even as we plan more interesting cultural and intellectual events, in the months and years ahead,” the newly elected IHC president added.
Speaking to NewsX about the achievement and its significance, she said “We must look at it with the perspective of emancipation and empowerment of women in India. This institution has been established for more than three decades now and I am honored to be the first female president of this institution that has had many eminent presidents before me. This shows that all women have a role to play in breaking those glass ceilings.”
“There are so many issues that can now be looked at from a woman’s perspective as the governing committee now has 4 women members. There are many activities where women can make a difference and I intend to look at some of the activities, be it intellectual or academic and see how my presence can make a difference,” she further said.
Talking about the current position of women in India, Mukherjee told NewsX that women in India are now more empowered than those in the west.
“India is changing very rapidly particularly under the current government because more and more women are coming up in important positions and more empowered than those in the west. For example, we have women in the armed forces, women as fighter pilots, and we have women in the foreign service. These achievements have not yet come up in the west, but still this is not much talked about. Breaking glass ceilings is a part of the process and this one was a major part and I realised this when I was at the AGM and there was such a large percentage of women members, I was touched,” she said.
Discussing about her objectives regarding the cause of arts and culture in IHC, she says, “Habitat already has a multi-varied arts and culture section and we are going to see if we can do more. We are going to showcase our amazing cultural and civilizational heritage which we are doing for the G20. During my tenure as president, would like to inculcate more Indian culture into our tradition and remove our attention from the west.”
India Habitat Centre (IHC) was conceived to provide a physical environment, which would serve as a catalyst for a synergetic relationship between individuals and institutions working in diverse habitat related areas and would therefore maximize their total effectiveness.