Event: Interaction between Semester at sea students and CPPR

Date: February 28, 2019

Venue: Radisson Blu, Kochi

Foreign students and teachers from over 200 Universities reached Kochi on 28 February as part of their study programme ‘Semester at Sea’, held on board the luxury vessel MV World Odyssey. It is a multi-country study abroad programme of one semester on a ship open to all students of all majors emphasising global comparative study.

A group of 30 students visited the Centre for Public Policy and Research (CPPR), Kochi where Dr D. Dhanuraj, Chairman-CPPR, welcomed the students and spoke about CPPR’s work in the public policy field.  Here they met gender activists and senior journalists and held discussions on the #MeToo movement and influence it had on Indian Media.

Anisha Cherian, Leadership trainer and Entrepreneur, highlighted the victim shaming culture in patriarchal societies using recent examples from India. She stressed on the need to shift the focus of discourse from the victim to the perpetrator.

Surya Joseph, member of Raising Our Voices Foundation, Kochi talked to the students regarding the unfolding of #MeToo movement in India. She deliberated on how the Indian Courts have been shifting paradigms to create a more gender balanced society. She expressed concern over the branding of #MeToo movement as a women’s issue and highlighted the need to make it inclusive of the entire gender continuum.

The active participation by the students in the discussions helped them to gain better perspectives on the sessions. Students were keen to know how #MeToo movement had been reported by the Indian Media and the changes in media reporting standards for gender sensitive issues in its wake. The journalists in the panel also elaborated on the gender balance within the media houses. Overall, as every year, the interaction has been an enriching experience for both the visiting students and for members of CPPR.

As part of the 100+ days’ voyage which started from San Diego on 5 January, the students visited Japan, China, Vietnam, Singapore and Burma before reaching Kochi. They will explore at least 10 countries and 4 continents and earn academic credits from the Colorado State University. After disembarking in Kochi, the students will travel to various parts of the country in groups. They will be back in Kochi on 5 March to begin their journey to the next destination.