The five-day ‘Madurai Symposium 2013 - Advancing governance for development’ came to a close at the Tamukkam Grounds here on Sunday.

Speaking at the valedictory function, T. Udhayachandran, Secretary to the Government (Expenditure), Finance Department, elaborated on how women entrepreneurs could be leaders of change. “More banks and financial institutions have started extending support to woman entrepreneurs, even in rural areas, because they repose faith in them that the money was being channelled in the right direction,” he told a gathering of members of Kalanjiam self-help group federations.

“I hope that the women present here will send their daughters to colleges and not stop their education with Plus Two, because higher education will be a step in the right direction of development, independence and self-sufficiency,” Mr. Udhayachandran said.

In his address, Lakshminath Reddy, General Manager (Priority Sector), Corporation Bank, Mangalore, praised woman entrepreneurs for their leadership qualities. “There should be a defined goal and a periodical review of targets for effective governance. Women lead economic development and through their functioning, these self-help groups have shown that they are perfect examples of responsibility and transparency in functioning,” he said.

Certificates were given to 161 students who had completed their Diploma in Panchayat Management.

M.P. Vasimalai, executive director, Dhan Foundation, and M. Kalyanasundaram, Chief Executive, International Network of Alternative Financial Institutions (INAFI), were present.

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