Women achievers from Chennai share their stories

Gayathri Venkatesan

Over the years, braving battles, several women have come beyond their closed territory reaching great heights. Space, armed forces and nuclear research are a few of the spheres of influence that women have explored and carved a niche for themselves. Celebrating womenhood, News Today speaks to a few of such influencers in the neighbourhood.

Salem Gayathri Venkatesan, a Hindu Colony resident, has sung in more than 600 concerts, now. On how it all began, the artiste, says, “It was my grandmother, who was also a musician, identified the talent. She learned violin from the maestro Kumbakonam Rajamanikkam Pillai. On seeing my capability, she nurtured me in the early years. From then on, it has been a journey of learning and exploration of this beautiful art form.”

Later, she was trained under the tutelage of Ethapoor Srinivasan and she says that it is from him she developed the confidence and courage to do stage performances. Following which, Gayathri migrated to Nanganallur from Salem and continued her musical journey.

She continued practicing from Sulochana Pattabhiraman, Gayathri shares, “Learning under her provided me the confidence to explore more diverse techniques and discipline in rendering krithis.”

Following which Gayathri mastered the art from the guidance of Ragam Thanam Pallavi exponent, T R Subramaniam that helped her learn complexities and perform with ease. However, her love for Carnatic music also made her pursue a Ph.D from Delhi University.

Over the course, in the journey that she has embarked upon, the vocalist says she has come across several unexpected incidents and recalling the one close to her heart, she adds, “When I was very young, fortunately I got an opportunity to sing in Kanchi Sankara Mutt in the presence of Mahaperiyava.”

Not stopping her journey with just singing in concerts, she trains students who wish to take up singing as their full-time career and currently, helps around 10-15 children. She can be reached at [email protected]

Malathi Gururajan

Yet another Nanganallur resident is Malathi Gururajan who dons multiple hats. She is the charter president of Rotary Club of Adambakkam, associated with Inner Wheel Club and various residents’ welfare association.

But is it not more apt if the woman’s spouse speaks about her this International Women’s Day? Certainly, yes, Gururajan shares about Malathi.

“She has always been a person who wants to do more to the society and take less credits. Despite being a grandmother, she does not throw the responsibility and volunteer, but rather complete all the household chores before stepping out,” shares he and adds, “Her stories have also been aired in All India Radio programmes and published in several leading vernacular magazines.”

But that is not all. With passion to extend service, she recently pursued acupuncture and has been giving treatment for underprivileged class of society without charging a penny.

“In addition, we also train students in learning the alternative form of medicine and in the last batch around 200 students graduated and the next batch would begin soon,” says she.

Spearheading the Rotary Club, the team recently provided e-learning tools for class six students of Puzhuthivakkam Thanthai Periyar Government Higher Secondary School. “With this being done, we plan to extend the service to students of other classes that greatly aids in learning mechanism,” adds Malathi.

She can be reached at 9884370569.