KOCHI: THE Devi Awards, instituted by The New Indian Express for women who excel in their respective fields, were presented here on Saturday.
The awards were presented by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The winners include Ardra Chandramouli, Kariveppil Rabiya, Asha Jomis, Elizabeth Susan Koshy, Gayathri Thankachi, Captain Radhika Menon, Sajitha Madathil, Dr Shirley Vasu, T V Anupama and Vaikkom Vijayalakshmi.Delivering the keynote address, the Chief Minister hailed organisers of the event, at which women who have set a model for society were honoured.
“These are times when the challenges faced by women are widely discussed. Today, The New Indian Express is honouring ten women who might have overcome various challenges to achieve their goals. The main issue is that our society has a male-centred mindset, and there is a general negative attitude towards women. This is not a recent phenomenon as Manusmruthy says that women do not deserve liberation. It has to be seen as a deliberate attempt to deny women their rights. However, women in the State are gradually attaining equality with men, but there have been various struggles and agitations behind that,” said Pinarayi.
“There is a wrong perception among a section that women have no right to wear what they like to. Such an attitude needs to change, as women enjoy equal rights as men when it comes to their choice of dress. People who abuse women often justify their action saying that they wear ‘provocative’ outfits. The government will take strict action against those who attack women, and the excuse of ‘provocation’ will not save them,” added the CM.Earlier, The New Indian Express Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla presented a memento to the Chief Minister. Managing Editor of Event Express Shampa Dhar Kamath proposed a vote of thanks, while Resident Editor (Kerala) Vinod Mathew welcomed the gathering.
Kochi Mayor Soumini Jain, K V Thomas MP, Hibi Eden MLA, District Collector M G Rajamanickam, CPM district secretary P Rajeeve and former Mayor Tony Chammany, along with prominent personalities in the social and cultural fields, were also present.