Our journey with We The Women started with one tweet from our Dean, Amith Prabhu. A tweet where he suggested Barkha Dutt, the curator of this event that there are five girls and one boy who can volunteer for this event. He was talking about me and my friends from Class of 2018 at SCoRe.
We The Women (#WeTheWomen) was a two day participatory, open to all forum for women that offered ‘Break Free’ 48 hours to bring together diverse view points and a celebration of all that women have achieved. It was curated by renowned and India’s only Emmy nominated journalist Barkha Dutt. The forum talked about women from various fields like sports, art, music and films.
Two days before the event, we met the management team and they briefed us on our respective work. They gave us the permission to play it by the ear and take decisions based on the situations. The six of us were part of the hospitality team and we worked with two gentlemen named Avinash Kalla and Jameel Khan. We were in charge of receiving the delegates at the airport, assisting them to their Ola cabs, receiving them at the hotel and assisting them to their respective rooms. This wasn’t as easy as it sounds.
That’s us with Avinash and Jameel
On the first day, we had to manage 35 delegates with just four cabs. We had to organise this in such a way that none of the delegates had to wait at the airport. And thankfully, we pulled this off with great team work and co-ordination. But, on another note, all the delegates were quite nice to talk to and they didn’t fuss at all if they had to wait for five minutes. And five minutes because, at times they took that much time to come to the pick-up point from the parking lot.
That’s us working at our desk
On the second day of We The Women, the situation was little easy as we had 15 cabs at our service. I was little too excited as along with the hospitality responsibilities, I had to assist the captain of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team, Mithali Raj. I had to be her shadow and being a sportsperson myself, I couldn’t have asked for more. Right from receiving her at the airport to taking her to the green room at the venue to assisting her back to the hotel, were my responsibilities. She was real fun to be with.
With the one and only Mithali Raj
In between all these work responsibilities, I also heard celebrities like Karan Johar, Ekta Kapoor and Smriti Irani talk about their view points on government and films (link). I also listened to Alia Bhatt talk about various issues with Barkha Dutt (video link). I also heard Saxophone Subbhlaxmi and Ginni Mahi. Later got a chance to converse with both of them. Meeting Lt. Col Sufiya Qureshi who is the first woman officer to have led an Army contingent at a multinational military exercise was a great experience (I have a picture with her too, but she requested me to not upload it), (video link). It was wonderful to talk to IAS officer of 1986 batch in Haryana cadre, Virener Kundu. We talked about badminton and sports. Last but not the least, 83-year-old Chandro Tomar, a sharpshooter from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh, who is more famously known as Revolver Dadi took my utmost respect. At this age, she has achieved what most of us can only dream to achieve (video link).
With our beloved Revolver Dadi
Lastly, Farhan Akhtar closed the show with his electrifying music and songs.
The magical Farhan Akhtar
This event was a great practice for a fresher like me who has had no experience of organising events. All, I can say is I’m glad that our Dean reached out to Barkha Dutt and organised this opportunity for my friends and me.
Class of 2018, with Barkha Dut
– Riya Sarkar
Riya is a student of the Class of 2018 of the Post Graduate Programme in Public Relations at SCoRe (who volunteered at the We The Women Summit). She has completed her Masters in English Literature from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. She can be reached at Riya Sarkar on LinkedIn and @sarkarriya_92 on Twitter.