'Cancer warriors' won applaud during their catwalk on stage at the event Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Ahead of International Women’s Day (March 8), an event at the Consulate General of India in Dubai on Friday heard inspirational stories from women in business and other fields.

Speeches, panel discussions and performances were held as celebrities - including Bollywood-Hollywood actress Nitu Chandra Srivastava, who is also an entrepreneur and philanthropist - lent their support.

The programme started with an introductory speech by Indian expat Reema Mahajan, who organised the day’s events and schedule at the consulate. Mahajan, a social media influencer who spearheads the non-profit ‘Indian Women in Dubai’ group of 55,000 members - said “women need to support women, celebrate other women”.

Reema Mahajan Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

A traditional diya (oil lamp) lighting ceremony marked the formal start to the event.

Chief guest Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Dubai hailed the role of women in today’s world, stressing on the need for equality in all sphere of life. “I would like to congratulate all of you – the wonderful women for coming together to celebrate the IWD [International Women’s Day] here at the consulate,” he said.

Bubbles Khandari, Vice Chairperson at Gurunanak Darbar, said: “We need to celebrate women every day, not just on one day. Today women have proved their capabilities and have achieved success as high as men. The IWD is truly an honour for women and men. A man is born out of a woman. That is how powerful a woman is.”

Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Dubai; Neetu Chandra Srivastava; Dr Bubbles Kandhari and other guests Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Success stories

Chandra also said women have the power to change their lives and that of others. “I am from a small town in Bihar. But I have made a mark not just in India but internationally for I have had the courage to chase my dreams,” she added.

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A panel discussion led by Malavika Varadan, founder of The Hive, heard from three other women entrepreneurs highlighting women’s empowerment and financial independence.

Moderator Malavika Varadhan; Purvi Munot, founder SAV; Malarvizhi Balaji, Founder, Booktopia; Aishwarya Chari, Director 1115 Inc; and Marlyn Pinto, Founder, KFI Global at the panel discussion Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

This was followed by a catwalk by women cancer warriors. Four women took to the stage in sarees to demonstrate their strength and positivity through their cancer journey. Mothers of children of determination then performed on stage to display their courage and share their love.

The ‘Nari Shakti’ [women’s power] event saw the portrayal of iconic women leaders of India. A dance by Aarti Dance School on Women Theme followed.