‘Books tracing the history of women freedom fighters should be included in school curriculum’

Releasing a book on women stalwarts titled Penne Peraartral, former MLA and Communist Party of India (Marxist) State executive committee member K. Balabharathi suggested that the Tamil Nadu government should include books on women as part of the school curriculum.

Penne Peraartral recounts the lives of 120 women – many had played a significant role in the freedom movement, while others had played an important part in the society much before Independence. Speaking at the function on Thursday, Ms. Balabharathi said that dissemination of the sacrifices and services of women during the early years of Indian independence by teachers would help the next generation of students understand various issues in a better way.

“The Social Welfare Department should take a pivotal role in spreading this knowledge to the children, especially, girl students,” she said. Thanking the author for bringing out the book, the Communist leader said that awareness among girl students at an early age would lead to more women in the Legislative Assemblies and Parliaments.

Today, though women voters outnumbered men in Tamil Nadu, the number of women representatives in the Legislature and Parliament were meagre. “If this has to change, students should know more about the history and such books may be the medium to bring about a tangible change,” she said.

The former MLA appealed to institutions like the Chellamuthu Trust and Research Foundation to create awareness and educate the people on social evils such as child marriage. Female infanticide, which was rampant once, had been prevented to a great extent only after formal education was given to large number of people from rural areas, she pointed out.

Social activists should discuss the features and merits of books like Penne Peraartral in social media and not just confine themselves to sensational topics, Ms Balabharathi suggested.

M. S. Chellamuthu Trust Executive Director R. Rajakumari released the book and Ms. Balabharathi received the first copy. Justice Shivaraj Patil Foundation Director Selvagomathi, Ekta – (an NGO in Madurai) Director Bimla Chandrasekar, advocate Balasundari and others felicitated.

Author B. Thirumalai said that it was his 42nd book and he had taken about a year to compile all the information about the women stalwarts from various sources. Chellamuthu Trust Director K. P. S. Janardhan Babu welcomed the gathering and publisher M. Murugesan proposed a vote of thanks.

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