POWERFUL EXPRESSION :Over 10000 women draw on a 5 – kilometre long cloth with fabric pen on International Women’s Day in Coimbatore on Monday.
With the celebration of International Women’s Day becoming a fad today, organisations and institutions are coming up with many innovative ways to celebrate it.
The celebration at Avinashilingam University for Women was unique in that it was also an attempt to enter it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Organised by the Pidilite Industries Limited, in collaboration with the university, the “Largest Painting by Numbers” involved the efforts of 10,000 women in filling up a five-km long cloth banner with drawings and writings.
The organisers had planned the event in such a manner that women and girls could find an expression for their creativity as well as their sentiments on womanhood. The theme of the work was to be based on woman – how she was perceived, as an epitome of greatness or an object of ridicule.
The morning saw many women, mostly college students, walk in with enthusiasm braving the intense heat. There were also children and aged women who had come to express their solidarity. What was heart warming was not only the response, but also the content that one got to read on the banner.
The organisers got more entries than they expected – a total of 10,458 women had recorded their thoughts on the cloth banner. There were interesting two-liners, poems, messages to favourite women, sketches, paintings or a simple “Happy Women’s Day” on the banner. The bid was to break the existing record of 967 persons writing on a 2.6 km-long cloth banner.
With regard to the content, almost all were positive sentiments. They had extolled women as a symbol of success. Be it in the role of a daughter, a wife, a sister, a mother, a professional, she was shown as a victor and not as somebody who was the victim. Even if this was slightly removed from reality, participants chose to give credit to the roles they played in their every day life.
J.M. Jose, Zonal Sales Manager of Pidilite, said the event was their way of giving an opportunity to women to express their sentiments about the realities they faced. The company had conducted similar events for school children in Salem.
Saroja Prabhakaran, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said: “Besides the 6,000 and odd students and teachers of the university the public have shown good response towards this unique effort.” Mona Raju Vipani, Guinness Record Holder for mehendi application, and R. Ramesh, Notary Public, were the judges for the event. Mayor R. Venkatachalam inaugurated the event. T.K. Shanmuganandam, Chancellor of the university, and D. Shanmugapriya, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, were also present.