Thousands of students, faculty and staff of the Amritapuri campus of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham joined residents of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math to form a human chain that extended over a few kilometres this International Women’s Day on March 8, 2013.
“There may be external differences between women and men, but the indwelling consciousness is one.”
“We cannot say a country is developed when women cannot walk freely without fear in the night.”
“Our mother is our first teacher.”
Holding aloft placards and banners with such messages that directly reflected their Chancellor Amma’s teachings, the Amrita fraternity expressed silent solidarity with women all over the world on this day.
Both men and women alike participated in the human chain. They pledged to help stop violence against women and help ensure that women have a chance to contribute equally for the development of society.
Students performed street plays depicting the social challenges faced by women in contemporary India. They sang songs and highlighted Amma’s message calling for society to impart values to children at an early age, to foster feelings of respect and appreciation for women. Earlier, during the inaugural ceremony for the human chain formation, Arjuna award winner Smt. S. Omana Kumari, Karunagappally Deputy Superintendent of Police Jayasankar and Karunagappally Panchayat Vice Chairperson Ms. Laxmi Mohan spoke.
Volunteers of Amrita Yuva Dharma Dhara, the youth wing of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math also joined in as the human chain extended from the town of Karunagappally to the village of Vavvakkavu.
Meanwhile, in Calicut district in northern Kerala, a unique initiative aimed at empowerment of women, also started on this day.
Seven women got together to begin a unit that would not only fulfil orders from customers for custom-made and fabric-painted silk sarees, cotton dresses, bed sheets and t-shirts but also impart skills to other women desirous of receiving the training.
These women received their training at the Amritapuri campus from staff of AMMACHI labs.
“We learned brush strokes, 3D painting, corn liner work, vegetable painting, glue techniques, all through the computer. Based on the orders we receive, we definitely aim to expand further,” the women happily shared.