As a pioneer in television production Mala Manyan has been a trend setter right from anchoring to executing stage shows and film production in India and Overseas.

With an experience of over 3 decades there are certain shows that are close to her heart and in fact a contribution to society as a responsible media person. Woman Achiever Awards (WAA) is one such event.

The aim of this event every year for the past 7 years has been, to identify and present 5 women role models to the society from different fields. The award is given not for individual excellence but to those who contribute to society through their excellence in a particular field.

Woman Achiever Awards 2018The awards are in the categories of Education, Medicine, Social Service, Entrepreneurship and Fine Arts. This year the event is being celebrated in a totally different ambiance, in a village called Mannmuqi in chenglepet district amidst organic farming and cottages for senior citizens on Sunday 11th March. 
Professionals from the fields of music and dance would entertain the audience at the awards event in the presence of a few celebrity guests.
The details and the list of the awardees are as below:
Preethi Srinivasan
Most people who suffer from spinal cord injuries lead a secluded life. It takes someone to lead them out of their self-confinement. Preethi Srinivasan is a shining example of how someone who overcame her own spinal cord injury to help others deal with their injuries.
Preethi Srinivasan was a successful swimmer who has won many medals. She was also the captain of the U-19 Tamil Nadu state women’s team. It was under her captain-ship that the state won it’s only ever national championship till date.
Once in her teens she suffered an injury to her spinal cord while playing in the sea shore with her friends. She slipped and fell into the water. She became numb from her neck below. For the next two years overwhelmed with depression and mental stress she isolated herself.
Eventually, her steely resolve came to the fore. With the strength of her inner spirit she broke the mental shackles imposed on her by the injury. She also decided to extend a helping hand to those similarly affected by this disability.
She founded ‘Soulfree’. It is a charitable organization with a goal to make a difference in the lives of people suffering from spinal cord injury. ‘Soulfree’s foremost task is to spread awareness about this disability amongst the affected people.

Some of the important short and long-term projects of ‘Soulfree’ are: monthly stipend of Rs. 1000 for patients with no income, providing wheel chairs, air-beds, crutches, medical treatments, awareness programs, enabling independent living and counseling.

Preethi Srinivasan is a living inspiration for all those who wish to rise above their infirmity.

Mrs.Prema Veeraraghavan

Our education system has created a modern day version of bonded slavery. It has changed the equation between text books and students, the former the master and the latter the slaves. The policy seems to be to add books and more books as the students’ progress from class to class. The situation cries for an overhaul of the present educational system and for the infusion of new ideas and concepts. Prema Veeraraghavan a modern thinker in the field of education has risen to this challenge.

She started out her career as a teacher in a reputed educational institution. She observed first hand that students had a lackadaisical attitude towards their studies. She realized that education should be as joyful an experience similar to dance and music. She founded the Vidyarambam Trust along with people who shared her views on the need for a new educational policy.

Vidyarambam was started in Vattakottai in Kanyakumari district in 2002 with a teacher student ratio of 1:17. In the first phase 86 centers were established. Today the number of centers has multiplied many times over into hundreds.

Prema Veeraraghavan has been involved in the educational field for more than 40 years.  Her focus is on rural primary school students especially dropout children from various schools to put them back in the mainstream. She is contributing science articles for Young World. She has won CASTME U.K. award in the year 1998 for innovative teaching.

Prema Veeraraghavan has played a stellar role in the creation of a revolutionary educational policy.

Uma Balakrishnan

We cherish our traditional art forms such as dance and music. However we are not even aware that the practice of traditional art of hand woven embroidery and motifs on sarees are on the verge of extinction. Machines have long usurped the role of artisans in the entwining of motifs. Uma Balakrishnan is doing an exemplary work in her endeavor to safe guard and revive this traditional practice of hand woven designs on sarees.

She had a fascination for intricate embroideries on sarees even during her college days. She would experiment on the sarees that she bought for herself by knitting her own ideas before wearing them.

Uma Balakrishnan is a former college professor. Her husband is a retired lieutenant colonel in the army. Owing to her husband’s frequent transfers Uma Balakrishnan has lived all over India. Wherever she went Uma Balakrishnan would seek out the village women folk and learn about the Kalamkari designs and block printings of the local culture.

Upon her retirement she is now involved in the production and selling of handmade sarees online. She has employed artisans from all over India whose families depend on her for their survival. She regards this more of a service to keep this traditional practice alive rather than a business. She sells sarees at discount rates and at times even for loss.

Uma Balakrishnan is an entrepreneur with a difference. For her it’s the cause that comes first and the rest next.

Sonya Mazumdar

EarthSync, a record label and producer of high end audio and visual content was founded by Sonya Mazumdar. In the last five years EarthSync has produced musical documentaries and music albums many of which have won awards of repute. EarthSync focuses on collaborating with musicians across the world for its projects. The albums can be viewed and followed on YouTube, twitter and Facebook.

EarthSync has recorded the songs of people from marginalized communities. They have created a platform for these artists. In the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami tragedy Sonya Mazumdar brought together the fishermen folk of six nations for their Laya Project. The songs brought out the amazing commonality of the fishing communities divided by national boundaries but united by their life experiences. The love and the special bond that the coastal communities share with the seas were truly awe-inspiring.

Apart from classical music she also helps promote the songs of the society’s fringes into mainstream culture. Sonya Mazumdar is a path breaking visionary in the field of music and drama.

Dr. S.Meenakshi

In the present times the challenges that the medical field confronts are manifold. Dr. S.Meenakshi is one among the few who is working to find ways to deal with the many difficulties plaguing it.

She started her work in a charity organization known as ‘Temple Of Service’. She worked for two decades there after which she joined the Prayas medical centre. It was only after her arrival at Prayas medical center that the OP department of Pediatrics was initiated. She took measures to provide quality medicines at optimum cost at subsidized rates using the Pharmacy attached to the center. This humane approach can be understood in the rightful context if we know that one sixth of India’s poverty is due to high medicinal costs.

She introduced the concept of holistic treatment followed by counseling on child rearing practices.

Her contributions to the medical field are of immense importance. She is working to create awareness on the consumption of antibiotics and the inherent risks involved in it. She works closely with government clinics to prevent and contain the spread of TB. She also deals with the social menace of child sexual abuse by creating awareness amongst those who are susceptible.

Dr. Meenakshi is not only a doctor of Pediatrics but also the guardian angel of little children.

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