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Candidate to Asia & Pacific Vice-President

Atya Kapley

Asia & Pacific

As the backbone of society, women should hold the power to create an opportunity for themselves and others. My goal is to use science to encourage a path that will create that opportunity.

My vision is a reflection of what Helen Keller once said: “When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” 
I envision a world of equal opportunity and global collaboration. As the backbone of society, women should hold the power to create an opportunity for themselves and others.  

My goal is to use science to encourage a path that will create that opportunity.  


What role do you see OWSD playing globally/ in your region/ your country? 

Powerful ideas, true paradigm shifts in the way we live usually start simple and start small.  A key goal for the OWSD is one that I share. Increasing the number of women scientists in the world. I envision OWSD or the ‘Women in Science’ to recognize, nurture and encourage women from all strata’s of our to contribute to a better, cleaner and safer world.  I consider members of OWSD to belong to the privileged lot, the educated fraction of society. We were either given or in some cases, we fought for the right to be educated. I have observed many young ladies drop out of college for a variety of reasons, not excluding, societal pressure / marriage / fear of following their dreams / lack of support structure. My “mantra” as a board member will be –Support all women and when possible Catch them, Young. The National Chapter in India, which is already active, will also target motivational lectures in Women's’ Colleges, to show the young ladies that women can follow a successful career in science along with domestic responsibilities. I assume that if they see and interact with OWSD members, they will gain courage to become better individuals.    

What kind of activities do you see as useful for OWSD to undertake (e.g. academic training, working with teachers, mentoring, networking)? 

The canvas that we need to paint is large. There are several activities and the efforts that are needed to inch towards the goal of equal opportunity and a better tomorrow. I can say with certainty that we cannot do this alone. What we need to build a network of support and one of similar thought and ideas. With this in mind, I would urge my fellow scientists and women leaders to prioritize activities that encourage and enable teacher and mentors to share our vision. Activities and programs that target enlisting support and participation from NGO’s, Private colleges and trusted funding agencies.  

What kind of activities have you undertaken to support women in science in your country/ region? 

My role in my profession and home allows and almost encourages me to contribute to the betterment of women and talent among women.  

  • I am the treasurer of the National Chapter and interact with different societies to organize lecture series.  
  • As a Principal Scientist at CSIR-NEERI (National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur, India),  
  • I coordinate several national and international scientific projects. I try to ensure that women get a fair chance with their male counterparts.  
  • I am often invited to and when possible give motivational lectures in girls schools and colleges.   

What difference will you make to OWSD? 

OWSD is an organization I am familiar with and over the years have come to respect. I subscribe to and believe in the six objectives of this ambitious and powerful body. My experiences will offer OWSD  

  • Proven leadership 
  • Unshakable Commitment to furthering opportunity for women  
  • Organizational Skills  
  • Experience in collaborating on an International scale and   
  • The belief that the world, our environment and our society will benefit from the contributions of women in science.  

If given this opportunity my aim will be to continue work on involving more women into science fields. To encourage young ones by reaching out to them using new technology, social media, and leveraging mobility. OWSD is a wonderful organization, a group of like-minded women who carry the baton forward. I quote a few lines from the speech of Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, US Department of State that very nicely summarizes the role of women; “Without the active participation of women and the incorporation of the perspective of women at all levels of decision-making, the goals of equality, development, and peace cannot be achieved.”