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Women sensitised to maintain cleanliness

By Our Staff Reporter

TIRUCHI, MARCH 18. Awareness of hygiene was created among members of self-help groups (SHGs) through conduct of a quiz programme `Varthai Vilaiyattu' by the Srimati Indira Gandhi College on the occasion of the International Women's Day celebrations recently.

The women were sensitised to maintain cleanliness in slums and develop saving habits. They would gradually be initiated into entrepreneurial activities through a string of innovative programmes, the Principal, K. Meena, said.

She said gender-based inequality, social discrimination, economic exploitation, induction of girls in domestic chores, low enrolment of girls in schools and low retention rate and high dropout rates were responsible for poor female literacy rate.

However, she said female literacy rate had increased by 3.15 per cent compared to male literacy rate between 1991 and 2001. While the male literacy rate rose by 11.72 per cent, female literacy rose by 14.87 per cent.

Though provision of educational opportunities for women yielded significant results, gender disparity persisted, especially in rural areas among disadvantaged communities.

Educated women were in a better position to understand the problems of early marriage, the need for spacing and small family norms, Dr. Meena added.

Plea to allot 33 per cent of seats to women

The Mahalir Sakthi Iyakkam has urged all political parties to allot 33 per cent of the seats, which they have proposed to contest, to women in the forthcoming Parliamentary elections.

It adopted a resolution to this effect at the International Women's Day celebrations here recently. The parties should not say that they would support the bill for reservation of seats for women but practically implement it in the ensuing elections.

The Government was evincing keen interest in forming more women self-help groups under various schemes. It should also ensure adequate opportunities for launching economic activities along with marketing facilities so that the socio-economic status of women would improve, another resolution said.

Yet another resolution complained about the bad condition of the Tiruchi-Chidambaram Road. Many important industrial concerns were situated on this road. So, the Government should take immediate steps for widening this road.

The Chairman of the J.J. College of Engineering and Technology, P. Selvaraj, the Principal, Kurinji College of Arts and Science, A. Venugopal, P. Shanmugasundaram, lecturer, District Institute of Education and Training (DIET), the Assistant Elementary Educational Officer, N. Jeyaraman, and the regional secretaries of the Makkal Sakthi Iyakkam, K. C. Neelamegam and Thennarasu spoke.

The founder of the Mahalir Sakthi Iyakkam, M. Krishnamohan, who presided, explained the initiatives taken for promoting the interest of the women in different fields. A total of 35 women from various walks of life were honoured on the occasion in recognition of their services for the uplift of women and the weaker sections. Those who were instrumental in the promotion of the self-help group concept were among those honoured.

Mr. Selvaraj presented `outstanding women awards' to five women, including the Correspondent of the Annai Parvathammal Matriculation School, Perambalur, Parvatham Ganesan, district primary health nurse, A. Pechiammal, treasurer of the Sakthi Sangam, Thilagam Selvaraj, headmistress, Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Mannachanallur, T. Lalitha

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