The second annual Superwoman felicitation ceremony kicked off with the traditional lighting of the lamp symbolizing the very spotlight that has deservedly been thrown at the achievements of all those present there on the day after Women’s Day 2019.
An invigorating, yet short and simple, welcome speech by the in-house Superwoman Deepika Nagasamy in which she threw light on how the brand not only survived, but thrived, for over 6 decades on the back of a recipe by another Superwoman. What started a year ago as a felicitation of her strife, is now an annual celebration of Superwomen in every walk of life.
The Chief Guest, and other guests of honour were then recognized with trophies and other goodies from the Thalappakatti family, before being invited to speak.
With 670 outlets, 400 women employees, and 40 lakh happy customers is the Superwoman behind India’s largest salon chain – Veena Kumaravel. “I had a dream to be self-employed as I needed to do something on my own. Today, the grooming industry is booming and I guess we got into it at the right time.”
She lost her vision at the tender age of 1, but never lost her confidence. A teacher, a Guru, a Superwoman – K Suguna. “I had to face hardships in every turn but I never let all that bring me down. Today, to hear that I’m a motivational speaker is an honour. I’d like to reiterate that a woman can not only create, but also destroy. With courage and a little self-belief, we can accomplish anything. Think you can change, and you will.” A standing ovation followed her speech.
A budding psychologist and a talented markswoman she already was. A decorated cadet she became through her hard work. Now, she will forever remain an inspiration to all those who hear of her story … which has only just begun. A superwoman in every sense of the word – Rakshana Suresh. “From a movement of women empowerment to being over-empowered, we women truly are empowered now. I joined the NCC to lose a little weight. The excruciating camps, our favourite activity – firing, and all those sleepless nights were all worth it in the end as they appeared in my eyes like flashbacks whilst walking up to the Prime Minister to receive my Baton. This is how I am proudly able to say today that ‘I am what you cannot be and what no one can be!’”
We then moved on to the nominations received on the social media pages. Nominated by Mr. Gopinath who wrote, “She is keeping the light of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s vision 2020 alive. Our mentor Dr. Srimathy Kesan inspires children and women to engage them into the field of space science in India. With her young team, they sent the world’s smallest and lightest satellite into space. It’s the first of its kind in the history of space science. She deserves the title to be officially bestowed upon her as she already is a Superwoman to all of us.”
Sasikala Jayakumar, a single mother who sacrificed everything to provide a better life for her children. Mangayar Thilagam, a retired government school teacher who raised two hearing-impaired children. Sitalakshmi S, raised in a village with no access to education, married to someone who was physically disabled at a young age. Abhinaya, a cancer survivor who was diagnosed at an early age stepping out of the house for the first time since winning the fight. Arshiya, a loving wife who had sacrificed almost everything to be with the man she loved, who in turn was fighting a battle with cancer himself.
A mother, a businesswoman, an interior designer, a former content director, and a mentor. She also finished as runner up of Superchef Chennai 2013 – Nancy Satish. “The Spirit and positivity of everyone present here is contagious. My journey may not have been as magnanimous but I am honoured to be here. As women we should set an example and learn from other women. There is never an end to learning. Please learn and empower everybody and enjoy!”
She puts the act in actor. Her roles have already proven that she’s here to stay. She’s performed across several languages. She is a Shiksha superhero. She’s also a brand ambassador of an NGO for the betterment of deaf and dumb – Priya Anand. “I’m unsure if I deserve the Superwoman tag having heard some of these great stories, as I am but an actor. But, I’m still very proud and honoured to be here. This makes me feel alive and so inspired. We need to learn to say no. Women should learn that saying no is not wrong. We as a community need to encourage that. I hope we can celebrate one another and keep moving forward.”
Once the speeches were done, there were a few group photos taken with the victors and the guests of honour before Fever FM’s RJ Sano signed off with “You don’t have to empower us, just give us an equal opportunity. Let’s celebrate and salute every single Superwoman everywhere!”