Lauding women officers and other personnel for their role in building a new India, Union Minister for Textiles, and Women & Child Development Smriti Irani on Monday said that India could withstand the effects of the pandemic because of the dedication of Indian bureaucracy.

Applauding the officers, Irani said that the humane and vibrant bureaucracy ensured that the pronouncement of PM Garib Kalyan Yojana of ensuring doorstep delivery of free ration to over 8 months to over 80 cr Indians was achieved without any glitch. “My compliments to Indian bureaucracy for the same,” she asserted.

“Women in all capacities did a fantastic job during our fight against the Covid19 pandemic. As frontline workers they made all sacrifices in reaching out to the needy,” said Union Minister Irani, while speaking as the Chief Guest at a webinar on ‘Celebrating the She in Bureaucracy’ organized by BureaucratsIndia.in.

Applauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bating for women’s holistic empowerment and ensuring they are provided with facilities like toilets and bank accounts for their financial inclusion, Irani highlighted how under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana a large number of women have been screened for cervical and breast cancer across the country.

Stressing the need for emotional nurturing, Union Minister Irani said: “Women are working in various capacities in different departments. They need to make a resolve to vouch for each other. You have served in place of responsibilities. Lead from the front and inspire the young girls. You are born to dream and achieve,” she said.

The webinar was moderated by Dr Navneet Anand, Editor-In-Chief of BureaucratsIndia.in, a news portal dedicated to celebrate the good work of bureaucrats. The webinar, which was live telecast through different social media platforms, was attended by a score of people from across the country.

Malini Agarwal, IG, Prisons, Rajasthan Police, while sharing her thoughts on ‘Policing and Women’ in the webinar, said: “Once you wear the police uniform, people look at you as an authority who can deliver. I have never faced any difficulty in policing just because I am a woman.”

Recalling how things have changed over the years, Agarwal, an IPS officer of 1994 batch, said that when she joined the police there was not even a toilet at her first place of posting. “So much has changed now in all respects. Women cops and officers work with dedication. Redressal measures are taken quite promptly. Things have improved as the number of women has also gone up in the police. Gender sensitization has also scaled up,” she said.

“Many women go through mental health problems of some sort or the other. We need to try to create a safe space for women who are suffering. No one should suffer in silence. It’s our duty to make them feel comfortable,” said IRS officer Shubhrata Prakash.

“Women bureaucrats come from diverse backgrounds. They shoulder many responsibilities. We should be very mindful of our mental health,” added Prakash, Director at NITI Aayog, a think-tank of the Government of India, while speaking on ‘Neurodiversity in Bureaucracy.’

Touching upon the multiple aspects of diplomacy, Eenam Gambhir, Director, Multilateral Economic Relations Division, Ministry of External Affairs, said: “Women in the Indian Foreign Service continuously break stereotypes. Diplomats work quietly and diligently to ensure peace.” “Women’s ability to be diplomatic is unique. They can every situation look like a win-win situation,” added Gambhir, an IFS officer of 2005 batch.

Sonal Goel, Special Resident Commissioner, Tripura Bhawan, New Delhi, while speaking about the synthesis among ‘bureaucracy, women and innovation,’ said: “Encouraging women in leadership roles brings gender orientation; leads to policy legislations becoming gender sensitive and contributes towards gender parity in society.”

“What women can accomplish has no limits! Let us encourage more girls to come forth in bureaucracy. Keep supporting each other and contribute towards nation building,” added Goel, an IAS officer of 2008 batch. “Women across the country have made their leadership felt at all levels and in all spheres of life. Similarly, women officers are leading from the front,” she added.

Throwing light on different facets of ‘women in governance,’ Harshika Singh, an IAS officer of 2012 batch and District Collector, Mandla, Madhya Pradesh, said: “Despite all odds if women support other women, we can climb up the ladder. This is what we saw in ‘Mahila Gyanalaya’ initiative in Madhya Pradesh where young educated women helped older illiterate women learn reading and writing.”

Rena Jamil, an IAS officer of 2018 and currently serving as Assistant Collector, Bastar, spoke on ‘Grassroots Innovation and Women.’ She said that even small interventions at the ground level make a huge difference in people’s life.