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Vocational centre for women gets new home

Staff Reporter

Australian philanthropist inaugurates `Basil Sellers Centre'



MEMORABLE DAY: Australian philanthropist Basil Sellers and actor Vasundhara Das on the new premises of ANEW on Tuesday. — Photo: S. Thantoni

CHENNAI: Tuesday was a memorable day for those involved with the Association for Non-Traditional Employment for Women (ANEW), as the non-governmental organisation moved to its own premises at Anna Nagar.

The `Basil Sellers Centre' as the new premises is called, after the prime donor of ANEW, was inaugurated by Basil Sellers, an Australian philanthropist of Indian origin. Chennai Willingdon Corporate Foundation also supported the initiative.

Actor and playback singer Vasundhara Das added glamour to the event by singing a few lines of her songs to the students. The new premises, spread over 4,000 square feet at Shanthi Colony, donned a festive look as Association members and well-wishers gathered to celebrate.

After going around the two-storey building housing a library, computer lab and conference hall, Mr. Sellers recalled his ties with ANEW and India. "I share a strong bond with India as I spent 12 years of childhood in Mumbai before migrating to Australia."

Mr. Sellers, who is visiting India after four decades, appreciated ANEW's dedicated approach. Such training would not only boost the self-esteem of underprivileged women and their families, but also help the country's development, he said.

ANEW was started by a few like-minded people six years ago to impart free training in various job-oriented skills to underprivileged women.

Association president Anu Chandran said that about 2,500 women, aged between 18 and 35 years, had been trained in geriatric care, computer skills and autorickshaw and car driving. They had been offered placements in various organisations.

She said the organisation planned to introduce courses in house-keeping, childcare and Montessori training.

John Lynch, managing director, Cookie Man, Neena Reddy of Savera Group of Hotels, and Vaishnavi, one of the founders of Banyan, were among who extended support to ANEW.

For details, call 2620 0697.

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