Agna Antony from Viswajyothi College of Engineering and Technology near Muvattupuzha has been crowned ‘Campus Career Queen’ at Disha 2018, the Career Queen Summit organised by Prayaana – the first of its kind Employability, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lab for Women, at Infopark here the other day.She was chosen from among the 10 ‘queens’ selected from across the State on the basis of their general knowledge, capacity to think logically and presentation skills. The mega finale of the contest was led by Jessica Mundroina, Chief Mentor, Prayaana Labs.

“Being unique is very uncomfortable in our society where one should not look for reasons to be like that. It is not imitation but being yourself is what qualifies you. Aspects like your aptitude and beauty are not in any way related to your gender,’’ said Parvathy, cine actress and State Film Award winner for ‘best actress’ for the last two years. She was addressing the audience after receiving ‘The Bold and Beauty Queen Award’ at the event.

In the absence of Geethu Mohandas, international award-winning filmmaker from Kerala, Lalitha Mathew, Chief Mentor of Prayaana and a family friend of Geethu, received her award for ‘The Achiever Queen’.

Sabriye Tenberken, Founder of Kanthari international, an institution based out of Thiruvananthapuram for fostering social leadership, bagged the award for ‘The Empowering Queen’ on the occasion.

Sessions and panel discussions covering various aspects of women’s empowerment were organised in connection with the event. Panel discussions on ‘stories of women entrepreneurs’ ‘workplace diversity and women’ and ‘leadership matters’ witnessed effective and meaningful interaction among the participants. The summit sought to address various issues pertaining to women in the 21st century. The panelists of various sessions included Sunil Balakrishnan, Global Delivery Head, UST Global; Sumitha Sudhakar, CEO, Mediabox Office; Dr. Pranaya Bagde, CEO, Derma Vue; Prasanthi Nathan, Co-Founder, Book n Meet; Anjali Chandran, CEO, Impressa; Lakshmi Menon, CEO, Pure Living; Geethu Siva Kumar, CEO, Pace HiTech; Ardra Balachandran, media personality; Rajasree, HR Head, TCS; Joan Roacha, Senior Team Member, ITC Kochi; Dr. Padmaja Devi, Director, MBA Department, UC College, Annie Kannanthanam, Director, Kannanthanam School of Tourism Studies and Keziah Thomas, Chief Mentor, Prayaana Labs.

Apart from music and spot entertainments, the event also had a special pitching session for women startups.

Addressing the valedictory function of the event, Chandra Vadhana R, Founder and CEO, Prayaana Labs, said, “I wanted to be an entrepreneur, though the challenges were many. But I was determined and started my company in 2014.Evere since it has been a rollercoaster ride for me but I persisted. Along this difficult journey I realised that women with potential are not able to showcase it because many things were hindering them and hence, they need a strong support system. It is this revelation which prompted me to sow the seed of Prayaana.”

Dinesh Thampi, VP and Delivery Head, TCS and Vivek Krishna Govind, President, KMA offered felicitations. Dr. Saji Gopinath, CEO, KSUM and Roshan Mathew, cine actor, gave away the awards to the winners. Dr. Lalitha Mathew delivered the presidential address while Fathima Shermin, Project Head, Prayaana Labs, proposed a vote of thanks.