Sahodayam: Rising with the Community – A Session on ‘Self Reliance for Empowerment’

On 07 March 2021, an extension activity was held from 10:00 am to 12.00 noon at Chidvilas, Chinmaya Eshwar Gurukul campus, under the banner of the ‘Sahodayam – Rising with the Community’ initiative for empowering the community in which Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth (CVV)  is located. This was the second event in the series of sessions planned for the members of the women’s self-help group ‘Kudumbasree’ of Ward 5 of the Edakkattuvayal Gram Panchayat.

The event began with a prayer by Havisha Machiraju (second-year B.A. Applied Psychology). The event was anchored by the student coordinator Aiswarya P. Nair (third-year B.A. Applied Psychology). The faculty coordinator for the event, Dr. Pramod Dinakar (Assistant Professor, School of Ethics, Governance, Culture and Social Systems) welcomed the gathering.


Prof. Nagaraj Neerchal (Vice Chancellor, CVV) presided over the function. In his address, he shared his personal experience of being supported by his mother and sisters, and thus reminded the audience of the importance of women in the family and society. He reiterated that the empowerment of women is the empowerment of the nation. The presidential address was followed by the ceremonial lighting of the lamp by the eminent guests on the stage.


In his inaugural address Sri. K. R. Jayakumar, President of the Edakkatuvayal Gram Panchayat, illustrated the lives of empowered women from the Puranas and Ithihasas. He also highlighted the plight of women in contemporary society. Sri. Ashish M., a member of Ward 5 of the Edakkattavayal Panchayat highlighted the importance of empowering women in the twenty-first century and also explained some Governmental schemes aimed at the self-reliance of women. He spoke on the uniqueness and relevance of Kudumbasree which has claimed laurels and accolades for the work done.

Felicitation speeches were given by Prof. Gauri Mahulikar (Dean of Faculty, CVV), and Dr. Soumya S. (Registrar in charge, CVV). Prof. Mahulikar who delivered her speech in Sanskrit stressed that the rise of women is the rise of the nation. Dr. Soumya stressed the importance of women being empowered to effectively tackle the demands and challenges of modern life.


The inauguration session ended with a vote of thanks by student volunteer Lakshmipriya Mohanan (third-year B.A. Applied Psychology). The inaugural session was followed by the empowerment session at 11 am for the members of Kudumbasree. Dr. Pramod Dinakar started with an ice breaker activity which made the participants active and cheerful.

Student coordinator Aiswarya P. Nair (third-year B.A. Applied Psychology) initiated the session by speaking about the women’s equality movement in Iceland. She also introduced and welcomed the resource person for the day Dr. Bindu M. P. (Assistant Professor, CVV). In her highly interactive and inspirational session, Dr. Bindu highlighted the various facets of empowerment of women like gender equality and equity; economic independence and social assertiveness; self-reliance and self-decision making etc. by narrating numerous real-life incidents which necessitated the women to develop these aspects in their personal and professional lives. She also highlighted the importance of respecting the other gender rather than considering them as competitors or enemies. She urged the participants to speak about their success stories and the struggles they had undergone to make their lives easier and better. Dr. Bindu concluded the session by reiterating the importance of assertiveness in decision making to become more reliant. The session ended with a vote of thanks and Shanti Mantra by the student volunteer Aparna Ramanan (third-year B.A. Applied Psychology).

The feedback received made it clear that the event was fruitful for the fifty-odd women who were present as they had many takeaways from the session. Some said the session made them question whether they are happy with what they are doing, some shared their sorrows and concerns. Self-reliance is the most important aspect of empowerment. Women need to be strong enough to face the realities of life and Though a small event, this session was an important one in the series of steps that CVV aims to take to empower the women of the community.

The event was covered in the local Matrubhumi newspaper. Click to read.