A Regional Excellence Award in Women’s Cooperatives in South India is being instituted in the name of Legendary Social Worker and Padma awardee Jaya Arunachalam on her first anniversary.
Announcing this, Dr Nandini Azad, President Working Women’s Forum in Chennai highlighted the yearlong activities that have led to this. In 2019, Prof M.S. Swaminathan the internationally renowned scientist had a memorial for Dr Jaya Arunachalam at the M.S. Swaminathan Foundation to highlight her internationally acclaimed work in creating a mass movement of poor women into entrepreneurs in South India from Chennai.
Prominent public persons sent remembrance messages on the occasion. Thiru. R.K.Raghavan, Former High Commissioner to Cyprus says “Smt. Jaya Arunachalam was one of the first social workers who united women in the unorganised sector. Her passion for their cause will always be remembered. I am happy that her daughter Smt.Nandini Azad is carrying on from where her mother left off.
Thiru. R. Nataraj, the Member of the Legislative Assembly states in his message “Dr. H.S. Jaya Arunachalam was a jewel of a social worker living in hearts of people, praise and prayer worthy, who toiled hard for women’s welfare and growth. For women’s independence and their growth, she built their skills and capacities, he stated.
President of the Parthasarathy Gana Sabha, Padma Shri. Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetty, a doyen of cultural heritage says Padma Shri. Dr. Jaya Arunachalam provided a country wide umbrella for women’s development creating independence amongst women by initiating a mass organization of 600,000 women workers. She created what the Government should have done for women’s welfare.
On Dr. Jaya Arunachalam’s 88th Birthday in February 2020, an award was first given amongst South Indian Cooperatives by Governor Tamilisai Soundarajan of Telangana at 3000 strong members meeting at WWF H.Q., (Chennai) from the four Southern Indian State Cooperatives for women.
Shri. R. Lakshmipathi, co-managing editor of ‘Dinamalar’ newspaper, said: In the last 41 years, Dr. Jaya Arunachalam was one who sacrificed her labor and through her unique efforts, set up centers for six lakh women in 14 places in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Her major contribution was that poor women would be organized to stay away from exploitation, ignorance and enslavement.
N.Ravi, Chairman, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (and publisher The Hindu) at the same event, called Dr.Jaya Arunachalam a remarkable worker. Dr.Nandini Azad follows her mother’s footsteps and brings up effective management for credit provision to poor, he said.
On 29th June 2020, to commemorate the living legend Dr. Jaya Arunachalam all 13 branches of the Working Women’s Forum in South India in Chennai H.Q., Kanchipuram, Vellore, Adiramapattinam, Dharmapuri, Dindigul (Tamil Nadu), as well as Andhra Pradesh (Narasapur, Bhimavaram, Palakol), Telangana, Karnataka (Bangalore, Chennapatna, Bidar, Bellary) will announce the prize in their areas, stated Nandini Azad.
The Indian Cooperative Network for Women in all 4 states will confer on the courageous activities carried through their credit activities in these areas (branches are apart by 800kms) during Covid-19. Particularly outstanding welfare work in disaster to poor women, as also a criterion for the award.
Dr H.S. Jaya Arunachalam was the founder of this legendary mass movements of cooperatives of poor women (WWF – ICNW) that are moving from strength to strength through her inspiring work and legacy; “notes the Press release from the President of the WWF, Dr Nandini Azad from their Chennai H.Q.”