How Stand-up Comedy Helped Build a Girls’ Hostel
By Showing a Mirror to the College Faculty
Usually every year on International Women’s Day (which also happens to be my birthday), I’m invited to be a part of some panel discussion. Invariably I’m the only man on the panel, which is a refreshing change from the ‘man-els’ you see so often at business conferences. My role on the 8th March panel, and more often than not rightfully so, is to represent mankind, accept responsibility, and apologise.
Occasionally I’m invited to host panels or award shows, where I have the privilege of interacting with some very accomplished women. One that I enjoyed in particular was the panel I hosted in 2016 with classical dancer and Padma Vibhushan Sonal Mansingh, artist and Padma Shree Anjali Ela Menon, award-winning journalist Sonal Kalra, and founder and director of India Art Fair Neha Kirpal.
However the greatest joy I get is from the work I do that is able to make a tangible difference in the lives of others. In this clip, recorded at an engineering college in Bangalore, I got agreement from the faculty members present on principles of gender equality, before performing this piece.
A few of the faculty members present, had young daughters themselves. Three years after this performance, I was informed that the college completed building a girls’ residential hostel on campus, so that the girls would no longer have to commute 5 kilometres to an off-campus residence, and be able to live on campus, just like the male students.
#BreakTheBias #IWD2022 #InternationalWomensDay