New Delhi: As the government aims to pave a path towards equality in education and innovation for women, Sona Group of education institutions in Tamil Nadu has won two national awards for women entrepreneurship, while securing the first runners-up position in two categories.
Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' recently presented the ‘AICTE Lilavati Awards 2020' on women empowerment to the winners in the capital.
While Sona College of Technology won the national award for women entrepreneurship, Radiant Seetha from Thiagarajar Polytechnic College, also a Sona Group college, won the ‘AICTE Lilavati Awards 2020' in the 'Legal Awareness' category.
According to Chocko Valliappa, Vice Chairman, Sona Group of education institutions, they have been focussing on empowering women -- from students, researchers, faculty to the community -- for years.
"The Sona group is particularly proud of empowering 725 rural women farmers -- to set up paver blocks using steel slag; solar food processing; train physically challenged to use a re-engineered sewing machine; pulse plating of silver anklets and recycling waste paper at Sona Women Entrepreneurship and Training (SWEAT) centre and connecting them with industry to improve their livelihoods," Valliappa said in a statement on Sunday.
During COVID-19, a women sanitation and hygiene group designed masks, PPE kits, coveralls and protective wear and produced them through Women's Self Help groups.
Many of these were gifted to the local hospitals and COVID-19 warriors.
Nearly 40 per cent faculty and researchers and over 30 per cent students at Sona Colleges in Tamil Nadu's Salem are women, said Valliappa.
Shakthi from Thiagarajar Polytechnic College was the first runners-up in the ‘Self defence' category while Sona Institute of Technology was the first runners-up in women's sanitation and hygiene category.
Based on the 'Women Empowerment' theme, AICTE finalised the winners from a total of 456 entries who competed across 6 sub-themes.
The winning team received Rs 1,00,000, while the first runners-up and second runners-up were felicitated with Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000, respectively.