Home Interview Exclusive interview with Doon University Vice Chancellor, Professor Surekha Dangwal

Exclusive interview with Doon University Vice Chancellor, Professor Surekha Dangwal

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Breaking the Bias:

By the students of the Department of Social Work, Doon University
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the students of the Department of Social Work at Doon University in a sublime gesture gifted meticulously hand-crafted gratitude cards and letters to their Vice Chancellor Professor Surekha Dangwal,
for her unwavering commitment to women’s empowerment and leadership within and outside the university.
At the heart of these celebrations lies the inspiring leadership of Prof Dangwal, who serves as the beacon of progress and change in her role as the Vice Chancellor of Doon University. Prof Dangwal’s dedication to advancing women’s rights and fostering an environment of inclusivity and equity within the university community aligns seamlessly with this year’s Women’s Day theme, “Breaking the Bias.”
The significance of this year’s Women’s Day theme, “Breaking the Bias,” reverberates throughout Prof Dangwal’s endeavours, as she tirelessly advocates for a more inclusive and equitable campus, community and society. By challenging outdated norms and stereotypes, she paves the way for a future where every individual, regardless of gender, is afforded equal opportunities to thrive, succeed and develop as a personality.
In a momentous occasion, the students had the privilege of engaging in an insightful interview with Prof Dangwal, delving into her visionary leadership, transformative initiatives, and unwavering commitment to women’s empowerment.
The interview with Prof Surekha Dangwal provides invaluable insights into her journey, perspectives on women’s empowerment, and advice for young professionals.
Aditi Pant, Aklanshu Mandoliya, Riya Chaudhary and Kiran Bisht in conversation with Professor Surekha Dangwal
Aditi Pant: Madam, can you share a pivotal moment or influential figure in your journey that has shaped your dedication to women’s rights and education?
Prof Dangwal: Certainly. Growing up in Uttarakhand, I witnessed the inherent empowerment among hill women who adeptly balanced their responsibilities. My parents, particularly my mother, instilled in me the value of education and self-reliance. Additionally, studying abroad further fuelled my commitment to women’s rights and education.
Aklanshu Mandoliya: How do you balance academic pursuits with administrative duties while staying true to your commitment to women’s empowerment and gender equality?
Prof Dangwal: Balancing academic pursuits and administrative duties requires robust support, which I’m fortunate enough to receive from my family members, especially my husband. His encouragement enables me to effectively fulfil my responsibilities. It echoes the vital role familial support plays in women’s professional endeavours.
Riya Chaudhary: In your opinion, what does it mean for a woman to be empowered?
Prof Dangwal: Empowerment transcends mere participation in the workforce; it entails unwavering support from male family members. Drawing from the wisdom of Judith Butler, empowerment is deeply ingrained in our cultural heritage. Recognizing the contributions of powerful women in history, such as Savitribai Phule, is crucial in fostering empowerment.
Kiran Bisht: Do you have any advice for young females or those entering professional life?
Prof Dangwal: Certainly. My advice is simple: embrace your capabilities fully and take ownership of your work without excuses. Remember, you are capable of achieving anything you set your mind to.
Aditi Pant: Prof Dangwal, your upbringing and experiences have evidently shaped your dedication to women’s rights and education. It’s inspiring to hear how your family played a crucial role in instilling these values in you.
Prof Dangwal: Indeed, family support has been instrumental in shaping my journey. It’s essential to recognize the influence of our upbringing in shaping our perspectives and commitments.
Aklanshu Mandoliya: Your ability to balance academic pursuits with administrative responsibilities while upholding your commitment to women’s empowerment is commendable. Could you share more about how you manage these various roles effectively?
Prof Dangwal: Balancing these roles requires prioritization and effective time management. I prioritize tasks based on their urgency and impact, ensuring that I allocate time for both academic pursuits and administrative duties without compromising on my commitment to women’s empowerment.
Riya Chaudhary: Your perspective on empowerment, particularly emphasizing the importance of familial support and recognizing the contributions of women throughout history, is enlightening. How do you envision fostering a culture of empowerment within Doon University?
Prof Dangwal: Fostering a culture of empowerment within the university involves creating inclusive policies and initiatives that support the advancement of women in academia and leadership roles. It also entails promoting awareness and recognition of women’s achievements and contributions within the university community.
Kiran Bisht: Your advice for young females entering professional life resonates deeply. Taking ownership of one’s capabilities and embracing opportunities with confidence is crucial for success. How do you encourage students at Doon University to embody these principles?
Prof Dangwal: At Doon University, we prioritize mentorship and support systems that empower students to realize their full potential. Through workshops, seminars, and mentorship programs, we encourage students to cultivate self-confidence and resilience, enabling them to navigate professional challenges with courage and determination.