Amid glittering earrings, the rustle of toys and the aroma of homemade chocolates, the Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women (TNCDW) inaugurated ‘College Bazaar’, an exhibition of products made by women from self help groups (SHGs) in collaboration with the Entrepreneurship Development (ED) Cell of DG Vaishnav College here on Tuesday. Inaugurated by T Senthamizh Selvi, Director of Collegiate Education, Chennai, the exhibition had over 15 stalls that sold everything from handmade jewellery, snacks, sweets, paintings, jute and leather products and toys.
Sampath Kumar, assistant project officer, said “This project is a part of the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Ministry’s plan to empower women and help them find new market avenues.” Over 25 self help groups came together to put up these stalls, he added.
DG Vaishnav is the first Chennai college to collaborate with the TNCDW. “We are planning to talk to other colleges in the city such as Stella Maris, Ethiraj, Queen Mary’s and Meenakshi College for Women among others,” Sampath said.
Students who are part of the ED cell are also planning to provide support to the SHGs by doing case study analyses about the sustainability and viability of the womens’ business proposals. “This way, they can help them convert the ideas into successful business enterprises,” said Sampath.
S Narasimhan, principal of the college, said that this exhibition will serve a twin purpose of sensitising the student community about issue of women in general and also acquaint themselves with the entrepreneurial skills exhibited by the women from the participating SHGs.
Chief guest Senthamizh Selvi said, “Events like these bring out the latent talents in women. If we help them engage in different activities, we empower them.”