Staff Reporter

TIRUCHI: In its two years of existence, the Women Entrepreneurs’ Association of Tamil Nadu (WEAT) has succeeded in initiating100 women in Tiruchi and surrounding districts into entrepreneurship.

Most of the women are into manufacturing garments, arecanut plates, cleaning powder, kunthan jewels, coir bags, and imitation jewellery. About 70 more are prepared to start their own engineering units and carry out job works under a tie-up with the BHEL.

Taking the support of the National Institute of Technology – Tiruchi for according training in welding and the Tiruchi District Tiny and Small Scale Industries’ Association, for conducting training programmes in other areas, the WEAT, floated by the Centre for Women’s Studies (CWS), Bharathidasan University, has been supporting aspiring women by liaising with banks on their behalf.

The association is also transforming into a forum for existing women entrepreneurs, who are scattered throughout the State and hence unable to voice their requirements, to make their presence felt, said N. Manimekalai, Director, CWS. While self-help groups reflect the vibrancy of women in villages, the productivity of women in urban areas is largely untapped, she observed.

According to WEAT president Rani Muralidharan, urban women for whom technology has obviated the need to spend substantial time for household chores must come forward to utilise their spare time productively.

State-level conference

They are confident that through conduct of the second State-level conference of the WEAT on June 28 and 29, they can further consolidate their efforts to create women entrepreneurs in large numbers. The State Transport Minister K.N. Nehru will inaugurate the conference at the Bharathidasan University in the presence of the District Collector T. Soundiah, the Mayor Sarubala R. Tondaiman and several high-ranking officials.