India struggles with gender inequality issues beyond just equal economic growth and access to educational resource opportunities. Creating positive social norms in educational institutions that value girls and their rights is important to improve the well-being of girls and achieve long-term and sustainable social change. In order to promote gender equality, guaranteed by Article 15 of the Indian Constitution, we need to change the mode of interaction at all levels - home. school, workplace and so on. To increase the outreach for creating an environment that fosters equal treatment, Government of India envisages engagement of Gender Champions in all schools and colleges across the country. Gender Champions can be both boys and girls above 16 years of age enrolled in educational institutions. It is a joint initiative of the Ministry of women and Child Development and Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute, Pune has played very important role in empowering women from early days and the most notable example is Cornelia Sorabji, the first woman graduate from Deccan College having secured Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature in 1888 with First Class and was India’s very first woman lawyer. Continuing on this legacy Deccan College is committed to gender equality and has been undertaking several programmes towards this end. Gender Champion Programme which is running since 2016 is one of them where every year two gender champions are chosen as responsible leaders who facilitates in enabling an environment within the campus where girls are treated with dignity and respect. Through different programmes designed throughout the year like workshops, plays, competition and other theme-based programmes they advocate gender equality and awareness. Dr. Amrita Sarkar, faculty in AIHC and Archaeology is assigned as the nodal teacher to facilitate the activities of the Gender Champions.
Gender Champions 2020-2021: Ms. Aditi Chaudhary and Mr. Oshin Bamb
Gender Champions 2018-2019: Mr.Pryank Wadhera and Ms.R.Kaviya
Gender Champions 2017-2018: Ms.Vinnie Pratibha and Mr.Debajit Ghosh