Mahakavi Bharathiar’s song ‘Penmai vaazhgavendru’ fills the atmosphere as one nears the shrine at the Avinashilingam Deemed University for Women.

School students sing in chorus the patriot-poet’s songs on ‘National Youth Day’, celebrated to commemorate Swami Vivekananda’s birthday. The occasion: a workshop the University’s Centre for Women’s Studies and Department of Music conducted on ‘Mahakavi Bharathiar’s Songs on Women’s Empowerment.’

The idea of the programme is to educate the students, both boys and girls, on women’s empowerment using Bharathiar’s songs as a tool, explains V. Janaka Maya Devi, head of the department.

As the students progress to the next song, ‘Thaga thaga vendru’, the professor says faculty from the Centre and Department have identified 10 songs, each focussing on an aspect of women’s empowerment.

‘Potri potri’, ‘Viduthalaikku magalir’, ‘Penmai vaazhagavendru’, ‘Nenjukku neethiyum’, ‘Thaga thaga vendru’, ‘Innumorumurai solven’, ‘Om shakthi shakthi’, ‘Kummiyadi’, ‘Vaiyum muzhudhum’ and ‘Thunbamilla nilayae’ are the songs and the themes are women’s rights, liberation, empowerment, boldness, briskness, alertness, self discipline, awareness, ability and leadership.

Ms. Devi says around 150 students and their teachers from 15 schools are participating in the one-day workshop.

“Women impose upon themselves a restriction which prevents them from being bold, taking initiative, going ahead and leading a team, though these are the very qualities that Bharathiar said women have. This workshop is to tell girls that they should not impose the restriction and to boys to not stand in the way of women’s development,” she adds.

Earlier, Sheela Ramachandran, Vice Chancellor, Avinashilingam Deemed University for Women, Coimbatore and T. Sathish Kumar, Founder Trustee, Rajalakshmi Fine Arts, Coimbatore were at the inauguration.

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