Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi on Monday highlighted the relevance of inclusive traditions of the country and pointed out that “we should focus on abilities rather than disabilities.”She was speaking at an event on “Walking towards Inclusion” which was organised on the sidelines of the C20/G20 summit by the International Centre for Cultural Studies, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Karma Foundation as official participants of the Working Group of Civil 20 India 2023 on ‘Diversity, Inclusion and Mutual Respect’.
Lekhi referred to Ashtavakra who translated the shlokas of Gita despite his disabilities. She also encouraged the youth to imbibe principles, values and ethics in life and recited a beautiful poem of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
The programme witnessed the participation of people from all walks of life who marched together with slogans on universal brotherhood and sisterhood to truly live by the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and respect for all.
Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi, who was the Chief Guest of the event, was received by Prof Shashi Bala, Rajesh Mishra, Bharat Gupta, Saurabh Goyal, Jyoti Shah Misra, Payal Koul and Dhwani Jain.
Nidhi Goyal, Member C20 Steering Committee, shared her inspirational story with the audience. She said how she met her guru at the age of 15 and with his guidance even after losing her sight, she developed a greater vision for life.
Dr Shashi Bala ji, Member of International Advisory Committee, C20 and Dean Indology at BVB briefed the audience about G20, C20 and the relevance of India’s G20 presidency in these turbulent times. She mentioned that diversity is the law of nature and philosophy of life and without mutual respect inclusion loses its true purpose.
Later, the Minister flagged off the rally. The flag off ceremony was carried out with a unique flag printed with shlokas, highlighting India’s spiritual strength of India which has global relevance. At the end of the rally, a wall of noble thoughts was unveiled and members of the civil society expressed their support to the cause by signing on the wall.
The rally was followed by an enlightening discussion amongst the industry leaders who shared their vast experience in the field of diversity and inclusion with the audience.
Saurabh Goel, Executive President, Havells India Ltd, chaired the session and set the context of discussion from the perspective of the corporate world.
Bharat Gupta, CEO, Jagran New Media, described the situation in the media industry and listed the initiatives being taken by Jagran Group in DEI.
Jyoti Shah Mishra, Vice Chairperson Uttarakhand State Commission for Women, described the situation in remote areas of Uttarakhand and spoke about the initiatives that are being taken up in prisons to economically empower the women inmates.
Payal Koul, Independent Director of Hinduja Technology Ltd, said that the corporate sector should move to small towns and DEI reporting should be made mandatory to improve the situation in the industry in terms of diversity and inclusion. During the discussion, all panellists agreed on the value that inclusion brings not only for individuals but for the industry and the country as well.
Dhwani Jain, Founder, Karma Foundation, proposed the vote of thanks. She also pointed out that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, G20 has been democratised and India’s G20 Presidency has become a ‘Janbhagidari’ movement in the country.