Kochi: A bunch of women, who were abandoned by their husband as their children were differently abled, decided to fight it out. Thus, was born the Blooms School at Thennala in Malappuram.
But they went beyond that as well. The women, led by Community Development Society chairperson Yasmin, then ventured into organic farming on 126 acre and the Thennala brand organic rice became a reality.
The Blooms' collective was able to discover new meanings to the notion of women empowerment, thus emerging as the winners in the Pennoruma - Season 2.
(Pennoruma - meaning 'unity of women' - is the Malayala Manorama award for the best women's collective in Kerala.)
The second-prize winners, Safdar Hashmi Smaraka Grandhalayam Vanitha Vedi in Kannur, have been actively involved in the activities for women empowerment and entrepreneurship development from 2007. The group mainly focuses on areas of women's skill development, continuing education, parenting and encouraging reading.
Meanwhile, Vasantha Sena in Thekkady is making fervent efforts to heal the wounds of nature. To protect the forest from sandalwood thieves and plastic garbage, Vasantha Sena has been working hard with the forest department without taking any remuneration.
Despite the COVID-19 crisis, several women collectives from across the state took part in the contest. Fourteen collectives were selected at the district-level.
A panel, comprising Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) director general Dr Joy Elamon, social activist Uma Preman and Rajagiri College of Social Sciences outreach project director Meena Kuruvilla, selected the state-level winners from these 14 groups.
Several people had suggested the name of P J Lincy for the award for the most service-minded Keralite nurse. A native of Ashtamichira in Thrissur, Lincy did not restrict her services just to the hospital. Along with helping the orphans and poor patients arriving at the hospitals, she also supports bed-ridden patients and the elderly, who have been abandoned by their families, at her native place.