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Green Award recipients meet future crusaders

All through Monday, over 100 members of NGO Thaneer’s Sutrusoozhal Maanavar Manrams (students environment clubs) in city colleges derived ample motivation from recipients of the Green Award at a function organised by the Department of Women's Studies in the Khajamalai campus of Bharathidasan University.

The future volunteers interacted with the Green Award recipients: Valli Saran, founder of Karaikudi-based ‘Oor Koodi Oorani Kaapom’; ‘Osai' Akila, volunteer of Coimbatore-based environmental organisation; Alageswari, founder of ‘Ilalvaagai,’ a publication through which she has brought out 30 books so far; and Bhanu Chitra, an environmental activist creating awareness regarding environmental-friendly reusable sanitary napkins, particularly among women in tribal communities. The four awardees described the challenges they keep encountering while rendering service to society.

Earlier in the day, Vice-Chancellor P. Manisankar presented the awards to the four women in the presence of actor and social activist Rohini, who set the tone for the interaction with an emphasis on finding solutions to the problems being discussed.

While reiterating the observation made by the Vice-Chancellor in his address that educational empowerment of women would lead to transformation of the society and the country, Ms. Rohini also shared the concern expressed by the Head of the Department of Women’s Studies N. Manimekalai about subjugation of women in the society despite educational empowerment, and the meagre number of women at policy making levels.

Such discussions on women's emancipation would have the desired impact at least in the years to come when the participants would be raising the next generation. There was an imperative need to raise boys with an ideal orientation on hormonal changes in girls after attaining puberty, without considering such talk as taboo, so as to curtail the crimes against women, Ms. Rohini emphasised, and also sensitised the future environmental crusaders to the health hazards caused by genetically modified seeds. K. S. Sugitha, TV journalist, familiarised the students with the impact of protests by women for environment-related causes across the State.

The event culminated with the screening of a documentary on Wangari Muta Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya, and the first African woman to receive Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for actions to promote sustainable development, democracy and peace.


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