US Consulate honours anti-caste activist

Chennai: The US Consul General in Chennai has honoured Tamilnadu anti-caste activist and human rights defender Gowsalya Shankar.

At an event titled ‘Courageous Women Inspire a Better World’, the Consulate honored Gowsalya Shankar, who was US Mission India’s nominee for the 2021 US Secretary of State’s International Woman of Courage (IWOC) Award.

US Consul General Judith Ravin presented Gowsalya with an IWOC Award Certificate of Nomination at the event.

This award honors women who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength, and leadership in acting to improve the lives of others, from families to communities to countries –often at great personal risk and sacrifice.

In her late husband’s honour, Gowsalya launched the Shankar Social Justice Trust in March 2017 to fight atrocities against caste-based violence.

The trust provides psychological, legal, and moral support to victims and builds awareness against social discrimination and injustice.

Speaking on the occasion, Gowsalya said, “Women’s History Month is not just another occasion to celebrate. This is the time for women to take a pledge to fight for their rights. The moment I resolved to fight against caste-based discriminations that dehumanise human beings, I grew new wings. It gave me confidence and courage to fly higher and higher and touch the sky.”

Addressing the socially distanced guests, US Consul General Judith Ravin said: “The United States is committed to gender equality, social inclusion, and advancing the status of women and girls globally as a foreign policy priority.”


NT Bureau