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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Well-Heeled Pink Panthers

Young women now wed material success with admirable dynamism

Well-Heeled Pink Panthers
Illustration by Sandeep Adhwaryu
Well-Heeled Pink Panthers
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Every year, there appears to be a new generation of young women just out of school that comes seeking admission to Lady Shriram College. I am struck by how differently wired they are from the ones that arrived just a few batches earlier. Every five years is a new generation. I marvel at their ability to talk about themselves, the aplomb with which they seize the moment with both hands, distributing CVs and brief write-ups about themselves, and commanding attention with their PowerPoint presentations with a confidence and ease that at least at the most visible level seem beyond their years.

As an educator, I find the pace at which this generation functions both invigorating and bewildering. These students want no handholding and have better access to information than their predecessors ever imagined they could. But there is a challenge here for us. How do we reap this youth dividend and turn this bundle of enormous energy into an asset for society at large? Their expectations of us have changed and their thresholds of aspirations are higher than what they were for us. We, their teachers, are no longer the repository of all relevant wisdom and experience.

My students are not a security-seeking group of women who look for comfort in the known and the conventional. About thirty per cent of our graduates are keen to carve a niche for themselves in academics, but many others are driven by aspirations that seek a different mobility. In their pursuit of success, they have a commendable capacity for risk-taking and hard work. By that I mean they hold a view that they are the subjects of history and not objects at the hands of Destiny. They hold a view that if their aspirations are not met, the system needs to change. This could translate into cracking the system or leveraging it to their advantage. Issues of conflict of...

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