Connect with us


“Parents Dreamed of Not Marrying Me Off, but of Me Becoming an IAS Officer”: Manisha Mhaiskar



“Parents Dreamed of Not Marrying Me Off, but of Me Becoming an IAS Officer”: Manisha Mhaiskar

In a world still grappling with the remnants of gender inequity, one woman’s perspective shines like a beacon of hope. Her voice, carrying the wisdom of lived experiences, underscores a fundamental truth – the path to lasting societal change begins at home. With a gentle cadence and an unwavering conviction, she articulates the pivotal role families play in instilling the values of gender equality from the earliest stages of life.


Her words hold a profound resonance, reminding us that the seeds of transformation must be sown in the fertile soil of our domestic spheres. It is within the sanctuaries of our homes, nurtured by the unconditional love and guidance of parents, that children’s perceptions of gender roles take root. By fostering an environment of mutual respect and equal opportunity, we equip the next generation with the tools to challenge outdated stereotypes and pave the way for a more equitable future. This clarion call to action serves as a poignant reminder that sustainable progress hinges on our collective commitment to creating a world where every child, regardless of gender, can thrive and realize their full potential.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2024, Marksmen Daily had the privilege of conducting an exclusive interview with Manisha Mhaiskar, a Senior IAS officer serving as the Additional Chief Secretary and protocol officer, as well as ACS PWD for the Maharashtra Government as part of our ongoing series, Woman Talk. During the interview, Ms. Mhaiskar underscored the critical role of family in instilling values of gender equality, emphasizing that such education at home is pivotal for effecting substantial societal change. She also shared insights into her career journey and her unwavering commitment to serving the nation. Here are the excerpts from the enlightening conversation with correspondent Neeraj Tiwari.


What drove your passion for the civil services?

I got the passion to join Civil services from my father, Arun Patankar. In 1980’s when every father and mother was thinking their daughter should marry an IAS officer, my father and mother decided to make me an IAS Officer. My father once told me that it is really tough to be an IAS officer, but it’s very easy to marry an IAS, but it’s up to you what choice you make. Since then, I had decided to be an IAS officer. I was blessed with an educated family; my mother was lecturer in 1980 it also helped me to keep going. 

How can we achieve gender equality in India?

I personally believe that true gender equality can we achieved only when parents start treating son and daughter equal . Right now, it’s a mindset when girls are born people celebrate with sweets like barfi, and when a boy is born, people celebrate it by distributing sweets like peda. So a family must treat everyone equally, then the female child will have the confidence that she can achieve any goal set for themselves.

As the Chief Protocol Officer, what are your primary responsibilities and how do you ensure they are carried out effectively?

As the Chief Protocol Officer, my primary responsibility is to oversee the protocol arrangements for visits of foreign dignitaries, heads of state, and other important guests to our country. This includes coordinating with various government departments, ensuring proper security arrangements, and managing logistics. I also oversee the protocol arrangements for visits by our own dignitaries and officials to other countries. To ensure these responsibilities are carried out effectively, I work closely with my team and other stakeholders to plan and execute the arrangements meticulously.

In your opinion, what are some of the key challenges faced by women in the civil services, and how can these be addressed?

Women in the civil services often face challenges such as gender bias, lack of support systems, and work-life balance issues. These challenges can be addressed by promoting gender equality and creating a supportive work environment. Providing mentorship and leadership opportunities for women can also help in overcoming these challenges.

What message would you like to share with other women aspiring to join the civil services?

My message to women aspiring to join the civil services is to believe in themselves and their abilities. The civil services offer a unique opportunity to serve the country and make a meaningful impact on society. With determination, hard work, and perseverance, women can overcome any obstacle and achieve their goals.