March 8, 2017
One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.
Malala Yousufzai, education activist and Nobel Prize winner
MS Chellamuthu Trust and Research Foundation (MSCT&RF), celebrated Women’s Day (March 8), at Vriksha, a psycho social rehabilitation centre for women with mental disabilities run by the trust in Madurai.
On this special occasion, MSCT&RF confers the MS Chellamuthu Award for outstanding women achievers. This year’s (2017) recipient was Selvi Santhosham, Head, Administration, TVS School, for her iconic achievements in the field of school education.
The award was presented by Dr. V. Satish Raghavan, City Health Officer, Madurai City Corporation, the chief guest.
Around 100 people including women residents of the various units run by MSCT&RF, and special invitees like Bimla Chandrasekhar, well known gender activist and Director, Ekta Resource Centre for Women, Madurai, participated.
KSPJ Babu, Director Programmes, MSCT&RF, welcomed the chief guest, the awardee, special invitees and the participants. The children of Aakash Special School run by the trust, and staff of Vriksha, staged a foot tapping and energetic contemporary dance performance.
In her acceptance speech, Selvi Santosham remarked that she was “overwhelmed” to receive the award from an organization that was the voice of people with mental disabilities. Describing women as “God’s unique designer piece,” she urged women “to take responsibility for your lives; to own your choices.”
R. Rajkumari, Executive Director, MSCT&RF, in her special address, remarked that the trust has always created space for women to empower themselves professionally. She also said that the trust currently provides rehabilitation services for 450 women with mental disabilities and that a significant number of staff of the trust happen to be women!
Sangeetha, Special Educator (mother of child with mental retardation), shared her challenges as a parent of a special child. Her courage and honesty struck a chord with the audience. Her lived experience also motivated her to qualify as special educator and work for the cause.
Dr. Nandini Murali, Consultant, Communications, MSCT&RF, spoke about the need for women to bust negative stereotypes and thereby create a more inclusive world.