“Walls transformed into doors, doors of opportunity, wisdom, learning, and fun
Out of it, came an army of bright, motivated, achievement-oriented young women
With dreams in their eyes, courage in their hearts, ready to take charge of their lives!”
GoBarefoot: Imagine a room filled with 150 young women, dressed in bright yellow t-shirts all eyes and ears eager to absorb what an eminent panel has to share. It was like seeing sunflowers blossom after absorbing sunlight and water.
That’s what happened at the 7th Katalyst Annual Convention in Goa. The atmosphere was charged with energy, enthusiasm and thought provoking messages enlightening the minds of these budding engineers.
Katalyst, started in 2007, works for the continual elevation and transformation of young women from low income communities to lead change in their professional and personal spheres of life. The NGO provides an enabling environment through specific development interventions such as skill enhancement, mentors, internships, and exposure visits thereby creating women leaders who are economically and socially empowered.
Every year Katalyst organises a national convention in Goa, where girls from all the centers (Mumbai, Pune, and Bengaluru) get an opportunity to interact with each other, leaders from the industry, mentors, and supporters. The prestigious Katalyst awards were also presented at the event and the girls showcase their talent through the cultural performances.
Katalyst believes that exposure to inspiring leaders who have gone through the trials and tribulations to achieve their goals would motivate the girls to relentlessly work towards their own personal and professional goals.
This year, Katalyst had the following leaders as part of the panel, imparting pearls of wisdom through their life experiences:
- Luis Miranda, Dot Connector, Chairman of CORO and Centre for Civil Society, Ex MD, IDFC
- Paula Mariwala, ED Seedfund
- P. S. Pasricha, Ex Director General of Police
- Gen. Rajendra Singh, CEO DLF Foundation
- Vibha Paul Rishi, Independent Director, Former Head of Marketing and Group Strategy at Future Group and Max India
Sharing stories from their life, journey of converting walls into doors, challenges into opportunities, and overcoming obstacles to achieve success, some of the messages the Katalysts walked away with:
– If you hit a wall turn to the other side and find a door
– Take a ladder and climb over it
– Be a team player
– Be opportunistic
It was Katalyst’s first ever convention on such a large scale with the following in attendance: donors: Mr. P. K. Joseph (DLF Foundation),Dr. G. V. Rao (The Hans Foundation), Ms. Megha Jain (Schindler),Ms. Poulomee Ghosh (Third Sector Partners); mentors/trainers: Ms. Noopur Desai, Mr. J. Dwarkanath Naidu, Mr. Niranjan Waghmare, Ms. Rupa Kothari, Ms. Sunishi Gabhawala, Mr. Mahesh Gupta; Corporate partner, Ms. ArunaAnanth and Ms. TomonicaChandran (Siemens); College partner, Ms. Amruta Deshpande, College Of Engineering Pune; Directors: Ms. Shital and Mr. Sunit Mehra and Advisor: Mr. Vijay Mahajan.
When desire meets exposure it opens the doors! Doors of learning, opportunity, belief, growth, success, and happiness.