Inclusion and hearty talk bring a vibrant weekend

Mallika Janakiraman

Mallika Janakiraman

Auckland, May 3, 2023

104-year-old Ramiben Parshotam, perhaps the oldest Indian living in New Zealand speaking at Maan Ki Baat Programme on April 30, 2023. (Indian High Commission Photo)

MJ Musings by Mallika Janakiraman

Auckland, May 3, 2023

Another weekend gone and here I am gathering my thoughts, MJ Musings from the mind and heart!

I was privileged to attend the first Ethnic Caucus Women’s Forum 2023 on Saturday, April 29, 2023 at Western Springs hosted by Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan and Labour Party Upper Harbour MP Vanushi Walters were the hosts.

These forums are a breath of fresh air, bringing in inclusivity with an equal yet informal opportunity to voice issues relevant to now and the future – Leadership, Education, Safety and care for elderly women. Irrespective of the political leadership, there was a sense of belonging igniting each of us to a future of hope and happening.

India’s High Commissioner Neeta Bhushan speaking at the Maan Ki Baat Programme in Auckland on April 30, 2023 (Photo Supplied)

The live broadcast of the 100th episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Auckland was a well-attended event.

The purpose was to inspire people through positive action.

Hosted by the Wellington-based Indian High Commission, this event was truly a patriotic moment led the Indian High Commissioner Neeta Bhushan. Her speech was followed by a beautiful rendition by Second Secretary (Culture, Information and Media) Durga Dass. The Office of the High Commission did everything fair and square and hence it was a day to reckon with for times to come.

“Mann Ki Baat is the Mann Ki Baat of millions of Indians and the expression of their emotions,” Mr Modi said in the 100th episode. He  expressed his gratitude towards the citizens of India and said that the programme has become a platform for millions of Indians to express their “Mann Ki Baat” (Inner Thoughts)

Hosts and participants at the Ethnic Caucus Women’s Forum 2023 (Photo Supplied)

“The Mann Ki Baat show is the personification of our citizens; here we celebrate positivity, and people’s participation. This is a wakeup call to each of us community leaders to define our persona collectively and unitedly,” he said.

With a positive intent and no war cry, I dare to dream a few probable and agreeable ways of conducting ourselves by raising the told and untold concerns,  highlighting the ethics and ethos behind these community hubs for a united front here in New Zealand, a Home away from Home.

My lifetime experiences and exposures within the community space and organisations inspire me to think aloud and be heard. With wishful thinking and hope not to die in despair, to each one and everyone let us come together for making good great.

To Be or not To Be, One Earth, One Family, One Future! is not a choice anymore.

“Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth.”- Jesse Jackson (Activist) and therefore, “Diversity requires commitment. Achieving superior performance diversity can produce further action– most notably, a commitment to develop a culture of inclusion. People do not just need to be different; they need to be fully involved and feel their voices are heard.”–Alain Dehaze (CEO of Adecco)

My musings, my inner thoughts and truly a Mann Ki Baat!

“Why be a star when you can make a constellation?”–Mariam Kaba (Writer, ‘We Do This ‘Til We Free Us’)

Mallika Janakiraman is a Nutritionist with extensive global experience, having worked with international corporate giants. She is the Founder of Wahine Charitable Trust based in Auckland.

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