William Gurumayum

William Gurumayum

Maheshwar Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since 2013. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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Thursday, 16 March 2023 17:22

Deepika Mayanglambam felicitated

IT News
New Delhi, Mar 16

Deepika Mayanglambam from Manipur was felicitated by the Y20 Chair Anmol Sovit at the C20 INDIA CHAUPAL PROGRAM. The “Chaupal Program’’ was organized by the Global Youth Peace Committee (GYPC) under the leadership of Braj Srivastava, Chairman GYPC, on 15th March 2023 at Lotus Temple, Seminar Hall, New Delhi. The theme of the “Chaupal Program” was based on Promoting quality education and Civic Space toward a sustainable nation. Anmol Sovit, Y20 India 2023 Chair graced the program as the chief guest.
Youth 20 (Y20) is an official consultation forum for youth from all G20 member countries to be able to dialogue with each other. Y20 encourages youth as future leaders to raise awareness of global issues, exchange ideas, argue, negotiate, and reach a consensus.
Deepika Mayanglambam spoke about “peace and well-being” by highlighting the importance of practicing kindness and understanding humanity for securing the well-being of all in the society.
The program was attended by many changemakers, young achievers, social thinkers, CSOs, NGOs, and Volunteers across the country.
Deepika Mayanglambam is 26 years old daughter of (L) Mayanglambam Gyaneshwor Singh from Sagolband Moirang Leirak, Manipur. She is a recipient of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose Memorial Award 2023 from the Govt of NCT Delhi. Deepika is a Wellness Professional, and founder of FREEDOM FROM MENTAL ILLNESS. (a Start-up working in the mental health space). She completed her Masters in Sociology from Panjab University, Chandigarh.

By Deepika Mayanglambam 

International Women's Day is celebrated every year on March 8. It aims to raise awareness about the importance of gender equality and prevent gender-based discrimination. The day also focuses on issues such as violence against women and reproductive rights.

When was International Women’s Day first celebrated? 

The concept of International Women's Day emerged during the early 1900s as a response to the struggles for women's rights in various industrializing nations.

In 1909, the Socialist Party of the US established the first National Women's Day. It was observed on the last Sunday in February.In 1911, the concept of an International Women's Day was approved by delegates at a conference in Denmark. In various European countries, women held rallies and marched in support of their right to vote and gender equality.

The date of March 8 has been used as the base for International Women's Day since 1914. It is in line with the Russian tradition of observing the day on February 23. In 1975, the UN officially recognized the occasion.

The theme for IWD 2023 is "#EmbraceEquity," which aims to encourage people to think about why they aren't receiving equal opportunities. It also aims to spark important conversations about how to make sure that everyone is treated fairly.

What is the difference between equality and equity?

We believe that everyone should be treated equally. This concept is referred to as equality, and it means that we provide everyone with the same opportunities and resources. On the other hand, equity means that we take into account the specific needs of a group or individual.

Although we often seek equal opportunities, this can actually lead to exclusion. A bike cannot fit everyone. To enable everyone to ride, we need to provide them with the appropriate equipment.

Equality refers to the recognition of rights, opportunities, and status. On the other hand, equity is the process of attaining these things through impartiality and fairness. When it comes to establishing a level playing field, equality sets the rules, but equity ensures that everybody can participate.


What does equity mean for women’s rights and opportunities?

Understanding the difference between equality and equity helps people understand its significance. While granting women equal rights is a step in the right direction, it is also not enough to eliminate all existing inequalities.

The World Economic Forum's 2022 report on the global gender gap shows that it will take 132 years for the issue to be resolved. As a result, the risk that the situation will get worse is growing. 

The term gender parity is linked to this year's theme of "embracing equity". Understanding the concept of equity is very important.

What is Gender Parity?

A numerical representation of the opportunities that are available to everyone, gender parity is used to describe the various aspects of a country's education and income systems. Currently, no nation has attained gender parity. However, Iceland has closed the gap with 90.8%.

Although gender parity is an important component of gender equality, it is only one element of the equation. There are also many policy changes that need to be made in order to achieve true equality.

Gender Equality vs Gender Equity

Regardless of gender, gender equality is a concept that refers to the equal access to opportunities and resources. Gender equity refers to the equal treatment or benefit that is equivalent to certain privileges or rights.

Understanding the various terms related to gender equality is very important to ensure that women are treated fairly in the workplace. This is why organizations such as IWD are calling for the establishment of gender equity programs.

International Women's Day should be inclusive of all women

International Women's Day was established in 1900 to urge for equality. Since then, it has been a platform for fighting for women's rights, including the right to vote and better workplace conditions. In 2023, it is still important that people remember that this is for all women.

The efforts to exclude trans women from International Women's Day are contrary to its very essence. It's about fighting for equal rights and uniting women.

IWD is not focused on cisgender women. Instead, it's about ending discrimination against women of all backgrounds, including working class women, marginalised women, transgender individuals, and those with different sexual orientations and gender identities.

The women's movement is more relevant and stronger if it includes all members, not just white, middle-class, and cisgender females.

Women's financial inclusion can be further enhanced by the use of technology

Women can now become more financially independent through a variety of financial products and services, such as micro-loans, micro-insurance and micro-savings. These will allow them to improve their own decision-making skills and make more investments in their families. Having financial inclusion goes beyond merely owning a bank account. It involves saving for future business or personal goals, as well as being able to access remittances or payments when required. There is a lot of work to be done to achieve this, as tech platforms that offer various micro-savings, loans, insurance, and deposits are very important.

Over 60% of women prioritize their children's education and family security over other goals such as retirement and starting a business.

Only 2% of women are saving for their retirement, and almost 60% of them don't have insurance. A shocking 92% of women don't have access to financial platforms.The need for a pioneering digital financial services platform that can address the inequality and the gap in financial services is immense. Neo Banking will be able to do so by integrating various financial technology platforms such as wealth management, lending, payments, and banking.

Financial products have been designed to keep men in mind for a long time. This has led to a low percentage of women being able to access generic financial services.

According to the Global Findex Data released by the World Bank on June 29, 2022, India is one of the seven countries that has around half of the world's population that does not have access to formal banking. Women are also more likely than men to be unbanked.

Each year, International Women's Day provides a framework for addressing the various areas that need attention. This year's theme, "DigitALL," aims to address the technology gap.

The digital divide needs to be addressed

The importance of protecting women's rights online and in digital spaces is acknowledged.To address this issue, we need to bring together marginalized groups such as women and girls into the digital age.

According to a report released by the United Nations, the lack of women in the digital world has cost low- and middle-income countries around $1 trillion in lost economic output. Without urgent action, the gap between the countries' gross domestic product and their potential will grow to over $1.5 trillion by 2025.

According to the report, there are significant inequalities in employment and education in STEM fields. Young women are more likely to enter higher education than young men. Women make up only 35% of students in STEM subjects, while 3% of them in communication and information technology studies.

Women can still achieve success at home, in business, and in society. A single day is not enough to celebrate every woman’s success. An every-day affair should be held to honour and celebrate them.


*Deepika Mayanglambamis a Wellness Professional,Founder of Freedom From Mental Illness (FFMI). She is a recipient of “Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Memorial Award” from the OBC commission, Govt of NCT Delhi . She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The pilgrim season to Sabarimala this year was the most outstanding, especially in a post pandemic period. This year’s season was an unprecedented success in two aspects. The first is the revenue. The revenue the temple received in this season surpassed all previous records with almost 320 crores falling in its sanctum sanctorum. The second aspect is the number of devotees attending the pilgrim season to the hill shrine in Kerala was an all time high. The earliest highest revenue the temple received was 260 crores in 2018.  Devotees from the entire five southern states climb the hill shrine every year in a particular pilgrim season of 41 days of Mandala Puja and a special Makaravilakku pilgrimage. Overall 55 days of pilgrim season from November 17 to the Makar Sankranti brings millions of Lord Ayyappa’s devotees to the shrine which is enshrined in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, a pristine 777 square km forest area stretching from the Pathanamthitta District of Kerala to the borders of Tamil Nadu.

The temple remained a subject of controversy nationally a few years ago as its ancient traditions denied entry of women of menstruating age to its premises. Normally women of that age are allowed to reach only up to Pamba which is the base camp of the hill shrine. With the Supreme Court axing the temple tradition, the Kerala Government managed to push ladies who never believed in the sanctity of Sabarimala into the temple campus. This was probably an unpardonable political exercise by the Communist government led by Pinarayi Vijayan. The government’s efforts to topple the temple traditions by force received severe resistance from the Hindu community in the state, especially women. What went on for months in the form of an agitation was unprecedented. Thousands of Ayyappa devotees staged peaceful protests against the government’s belligerence while many of them were arrested.  The post pandemic pilgrimage had once again ignited the Ayyappa consciousness in the minds of millions of devotees and the season found cash and other precious things mounting in the sanctum sanctorum. The Devaswom Board’s statement is really startling that heaps of coins to be weighed in quintals are lying unattended and an accurate counting of currencies would take a few more days to finish.

This year’s pilgrim season was spiritually charged by a movie on the Ayyappa consciousness which was released during the pilgrim season. The Unni Mukundan starrer movie had totally shaken up the spiritual pride in the minds of the Ayyappa devotees in Kerala. The movie was released on 30 December 2022 in selected theatres and many people in the film industry expressed their concern over such a movie’s box office fortunes in the present political setting of the state. A normal movie produced with a minimal 3.5 Crores expenditure has now bagged more than 50 Crores all over the world. Malikappuram, as it is titled, is a movie made on the innocent devotion of Kallu, an eight year old girl who lives with her parents in meagre circumstances.  The word Malikappuram holds a special spiritual status in the Malayalam vernacular. It is used to address a girl who is taking the pilgrimage to Sabarimala for the first time. This is an unusual vocabulary which is attributed to the Sabarimala temple and its pilgrimage alone. Kallu’s preparations to set out on a pilgrimage to Sabarimala get frequently distracted and she ultimately starts her journey to Sabarimala with her friend Piyush. With the amazing characterisation of both the children, the movie was first predicted to end as a children’s movie. But the spiritual churning the movie has taken the ordinary people through was astounding. In the second half of the movie comes Unni Mukundan in his lead role Ayyappan and his entry takes the movie into another level.  The god-sent man or call him god-like, takes strides with the kids to the abode of Lord Ayyappa and his mysterious role in the movie with his human and divine mix of characterisation made the movie a favourite of the family audience. Malikappuram is all set to hit theatres in different languages including Hindi. Though cancel calls against the movie were rampant in the social media by jihadi-left-liberal lobby, Ayyappan’s story outsmarted the Vijay starrer ‘Varisu’ and Ajith’s ‘Thunivu’, the Tamil blockbusters in Kerala and became a devotional blockbuster. Malikappuram is the Kantara of Kerala.

Sabarimala needs to be seen with a slightly different perspective. The spiritual behaviour of the temple and the pilgrimage to the holy shrine are yet to attract national attention, especially in the northern part of India. The temple comes under the direct administration of the Travancore Devaswom Board. The Board came into existence as per the provisions of the Travancore-Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act, 1950. The revenue from the Sabarimala shrine is used for the welfare of small temples under the Devaswom Board with scant revenue. The state government is blamed for its filling the state’s exchequer with the temple money and huge campaigns were set in motion educating the people to not make donations to temples run by the Devaswom Board. This was also accentuated by the statement made by retired Supreme Court Justice Indu Malhotra. She candidly expressed her grave dissatisfaction on the Communist government’s belligerence on capturing the Hindu temples. Her verdict favouring the royal family for continuing its custodian rights with respect to the Sree Padmanabha Temple at Thiruvananthapuram was widely praised. She had also opined in favour of the temple traditions in Sabarimala, wherein the traditions denied women entry at a particular age. She viewed that traditions that existed for centuries should not be toppled in the name of civil rights.

In Hinduism, prayer is a personal spiritual exercise. It doesn’t advocate collective prayer meetings like any other religion. It elevates the seeker to grow into the size and eminence of the divinity with no mediator meddling with his spiritual aspirations. Every spiritual place which attracts pilgrims indubitably accentuates this notion of belief system. That between the divine and the devotee there is no space for a mentor or a mediator and Sabarimala offers this spiritual semblance to every devotee who strides hard through the forest path of roughness and his spiritual demeanour throughout the preparation for a pilgrimage transforms him to realise the divinity in him. On reaching the abode of Lord Ayyappa he realises that the process of penance and sacrifice has taken him through the vivid expressions of divinity and the essential Ayyappa consciousness he is blessed with at the temple premises elevates him to the stature of divinity itself. The Upanishadic dictum ‘Tat Tvam Asi’, which means “you are that divinity you were in search of” is practically revealed to every pilgrim once he reaches the shrine.  The movie Malikappuram has not only been a devotional blockbuster but the celluloid surprise has motivated thousands of new devotees to take a pilgrimage to Sabarimala this year.

By Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit

National Voters Day is celebrated on January 25 every year since 2011. The first-ever National Voters’ Day was celebrated on January 25, 2011, to encourage more young voters to take part in the electoral process. The national voter’s day is undoubtedly a step forward in encouraging the right practices in the electoral system. National Voters day marks the foundation of Election commission of India which was laid on 25th of January, 1950. Every year, the government proposes a new theme to draw more youngsters to come forward and enroll themselves in the electoral rolls of the country.The aim is to encourage our voters to participate enthusiastically in the democratic process. And that is why the relevance of this day is even more pronounced on the eve of Republic Day. Young voters who have just turned 18 and got the right to vote for the first time. "Our Constitution empowers an independent Election Commission. And our election process makes every vote important, with the right to equality and freedom. A government is selected by voting in an election, which is every citizen’s right to choose among several candidates for ruling their constituency. Voting generally takes place in polling booths. The constitution of India places utmost importance on maintaining the dignity of the voter. He has all the rights to cast votes according to his likes and dislikes.

As such Indian democracy is known through the world for its maturity and stability." NVD is celebrated all over the country right from the national level to the far remote corners of our country down to each Polling Station location where new voters were felicitated with a badge carrying the logo 'Proud to be a Voter- Ready to Vote', administered the Pledge and handed over their Elector Photo Identity Cards (EPICs).

India is the largest democracy in the world.  Every citizen of this country is provided with basic rights to vote. He can exercise his franchise to select the leader he thinks is capable of leading the nation and bringing about a change. Voting is very important as it lets you decide and give your opinion about the choice of your leader. As a result it brings up your voting rights which every citizen above the age of 18 has got in every country. It is also said that wrong political parties are not won by the number of votes they received, but they win by the number of people who did not vote the correct or the good political parties.

The day is very significant in the roots of India because the future of our country lies in the leaders we select today. A vote is a choice made by a particular group or a person in a meeting or an election. It is a means to express one’s views in response to a poll. One must remember that when we vote, we give our opinion which is very important.  Everyone has the right to vote because voting rights are constitutional rights.

On this occasion let us encourage each and every voter in the country to exercise their right to vote. He lauded in their efforts to inspire the younger generation to come forward and vote and hoped even in the future; elections would be organized elections in a disciplined conduct.

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