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Welcome Address - Ms Bhanumathi Narasimhan Chairperson- International Women's Conference

Smt Bhanumathi NarasimhanOm Swasthi Rastu, Salamat Datang. It is such a beautiful beginning for our conference, with the classical dance that we just saw. It gives me a great pleasure to welcome you all for the Seventh International Women’s Conference, “The Butterfly Effect - Everything Matters”.

I know you have all travelled from many parts of the world to be here and some of you have flown for thirty hours to come here and I really appreciate that. Your presence here matters to us. Thank you so much. And to the thousands of women watching us right now around the world live on webcast, a very warm welcome. Many people have been asking me why we selected this theme, “Everything Matters - The Buttefly Effect”. Many of us must have heard of the Chaos Theory. A butterfly fluttering its wings in the Amazon forest can create an avalanche or hurricane in China. So if a small act such as the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings can create such a climatic change, what about you and me? This is what we are going to discuss in the next two days through dialogues, keynotes and sessions; how we can move forward in this direction.

The role of Ethics in Leadership is very important and touches every aspect of our lives. In our Inaugural Session, we will hear from eminent world leaders, their perspective of the role of women in upholding ethics in different spheres of influence.

Technology has shrunk this globe into a village where communication is easier and faster and information travels instantly. Social media has connected people all around the globe and the basis of this technology is ‘connectedness’. However it should be used to preserve and protect our world and not otherwise. I want to share with you, few weeks ago, our team launched a campaign called “Inspires Me”, where women were invited to tweet about other women who inspire them. In three days, we had such a wonderful response with 22,000 positive inspirational tweets creating a huge wave of positivity in the social media.

Similarly, we also launched a campaign called the “Bee Campaign”. You must be all knowing that the bee is facing extinction. We should not allow this because 50-80% of our food products, are all influenced directly or indirectly by Bee Pollination. So we really have to do something. We will discuss how we can do something in this regard to save the bees from extinction. We will do this in our Environment Session.

I am quite sure we all have many stories to share and we are ready to hear your stories and learn from each other. The metamorphosis of a butterfly symbolizes the individual journey from one level of perfection to another. In a positive environment, evolution also happens. As leaders, influencers, homemakers and as pillars of our society, what can we as women do to create a positive environment in every sphere? Peace is our collective responsibility; for only with peace can we have more prosperity also. The butterflies are a joy to watch. Let us also remind ourselves of the connection to this beautiful planet and know that we are not alone and we are all one.

I once again welcome all of you to share and nurture each other, care for the planet. It is so wonderful to be with you all. Let us enjoy.

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.