Bringing collective success to the light of day, applauding extraordinary efforts by ordinary women and resolving to march towards greater empowerment set the tone for International Women's Day celebrations in the city on Friday.

In a celebration organised by the Tiruchi All Women's Association and Shrimathi Indira Gandhi College dignitaries shared stage space with awardees who had made a difference. Collector Jayashree Muralidharan, Mayor A.Jaya and Vice Chancellor K. Meena, felicitated Akila Srinivasan, managing director, Shriram Life Insurance Corporation, P.Kalaiarasi, director, Poornodhaya Trust, and Sangampatti Sarasu, recipients of awards in industry, social service and differently abled categories. Shoba Chandrasekhar, Honorary Director, Government Music Schools, distributed the prizes.

Rally

An awareness rally headed by Collector Jayashree Muralidharan was taken out from the Railway Junction to Collectorate. Three hundred women from self-help groups participated in the programme organised by Mahalir Thittam. Earlier, games and contests for women, including musical chairs, tug of war, sack race, were organised at Anna Stadium.

Around 3,000 students from Holy Cross College celebrated the day with colour and gaiety in the form of dance, music and drama competitions. Ravathi Robert, Associate Professor, Media Arts, Loyola College, Chennai, distributing the prizes, said education was the cornerstone of empowerment. Citing excerpts from poems of Bharathiyar, Bharathidasan, Kannadasan , she exhorted students to nurture self-reliance, courage and confidence. Jeusin Francis, principal, Holy Cross College, also spoke.

The Forum for Women in Public Sector (WIPS) of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Tiruchi, marked the day by distributing prizes to winners of various contests and dwelt on the United Nations theme ‘Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty'. Noting the forum had played a lead role in the growth and development of women in public sector, A. V. Krishnan, Executive Director, BHEL, asserted the organisation was continuously introducing and reinventing schemes for the benefit of women employees. Mayor Jaya underlined the need for improving female literacy percentage while Kalaiselvi, Dean Chennai Medical College Hospital & Research Centre, motivated women to strike the right balance between work and home.

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