An all-women’s group in Sydney celebrated Tamil New Year by fund-raising for a rural school in India
On 8 April, at Hills Sports High School, Seven Hills; the sky lit up with hope and aspiration to support the first charity event—“Puthandu Vizha” – hosted by the Sydney Tamil Magali Mandram (STMM) Inc group.
The event was inaugurated by Member of Parliament-Strathfield Ms Jodi McKay, while UIA President and STMM Treasurer Mr John Kennedy, Indian Vice Consulate Mr. Chandru, ATCC representative Mr. Mahesh and CEO Sydwest Ms. Ela Morkatasis came together to support this noble cause.
The event—an evening filled with beautiful music and dance performances from Tamil and Bollywood movies—was well attended. There were food stalls as well as others displaying a vast spectrum of Indian jewellery, apparels, saree, and home décor. Most of the stalls showcased the world of women entrepreneurs.
Ms. McKay said, “I stand in support of STMM group’s belief, particularly of women coming together to support each other. What’s amazing is, in the last five months this women’s group has made it from a social media group to being a registered organisation. This is an achievement which speaks volumes of what women can do.”
The event was not only to celebrate Tamil New Year (14 April) but also to raise funds to build toilets in schools, particularly for female children in rural Tamil Nadu, India. The funds raised by STMM during the event would be donated to Chrisvinmin Trust, of which Mr. Kennedy is the local representative.
“We have identified a school at Valayapatti, Tamil Nadu, which does not have toilets. The fund raised through this event will help build toilets in this school, thus providing basic hygiene support to school children (especially girls),” said Mr Kennedy, to which Ms Morkatasis added, “Basic hygiene is everyone’s right.”
Since 2014, the Indian government also has been rolling out sanitation campaigns, highlighting the importance of building toilets. Founder of STMM, Ms Vinithra Jayaraman, said “We, as a group have come a long way in just a few months. This event marks our way of doing something good and giving back to our community. The STMM group was established to mitigate feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anxiety by socialising and connecting with women and children who belong to the same community.” This event was not only aimed to support a good cause, but also marked the success of all the enterprising women who came together.