March 30, 2011
School of Business, Coimbatore
The Amrita School of Business was an academic partner in the Women Managers’ Convention recently organized by the Madras Management Association in Chennai.
Representing the Amrita School of Business were Professors E. Meera and S. Elankumaran, who were joined by Dean, Dr. G.K. Kalyanaram.
Several Amrita alumni also attended.
Speakers emphasized equal rights for women at work places, participation of women at decision- making levels and their presence on company boards. “Speakers also recalled the erstwhile great women leaders of India,” shared Dr. Meera.
Dr. Meera was invited to participate in a panel discussion on the empowerment of women. She presented the lives of two disenfranchised women, who overcame extraordinary odds, to ultimately serve others.
“Dr. Meera’s presentation was very well received by the 600+ audience of corporate leaders and managers, leaders of non-profit organizations, academic leaders and students,” stated Dr. Kalyanram.
Given below is a gist of Dr. Meera’s presentation in her own words. Stories of both women were based on Dr. Meera’s own interactions with them; she met the second woman while serving in the tsunami affected villages of Tamil Nadu.
A married young lady with a small daughter lost her husband in an accident. Before she could even recover from the shock of the colossal loss, she had to begin arrangements for her husband’s funeral and accompanying rituals. In her community, such ceremonies were given prime importance. Although she was overcome with pain and agony, she organized the death ceremony with quiet dignity.
Wanting to help others in similar situations, she took up the service of organizing funerals and death ceremonies and that became her profession. Since the bread winner of the family was gone, and she didn’t want to depend on relatives for financial help, she needed a source of income. I met her during the death ceremony of my friend’s father, where she consoled all of us as she efficiently went about her work. She became an entrepreneur by accident.
In the aftermath of the tsunami, I met another lady who had lost two of her four children. She was so depressed that she did not have proper food for days. She kept asking me where her missing children were and I tried my best to console her. Finally, darshan will Amma, brought her relief … she was slowly able to recover from her grief. Finally she asked whether she could help me with the relief activities. Her courage and self-confidence in overcoming her situation and wanting to help others really inspired me.
Our Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham provides us countless opportunities to serve society. I recall the service our students and staff were able to provide not only during the tsunami but also during the Raichur floods and the Gujarat earthquake.