HOW PENN, A TAMIL NADU BASED ORGANISATION, FIGHTS SEXUAL VIOLENCE THROUGH AWARENESS RAISING AND EMPOWERMENT


New Advisory Board features eminent personalities such as Mr S.R. Jangid, Dr. Kamala
Selvaraj, Justice Prabha Sridevan, Ms Revathi, Mr. Ravichandran Ashwin, Ms D. Sabitha,
Mr P. Unnikrishnan and Dr Venkatraman (UNESCO).

Chennai-based PENN (Protection & Empowerment of Naree) is a registered Trust working,
with a proactive approach, to prevent sexual violence against women and children, using a
range of methods, including self-defense training, gender sensitisation, arts-based
empowerment and working closely with authorities. They commemorated their
second anniversary with a press meet and event on March 5th 2022 at Welcomhotel Chennai. Singer Ms. K S Chitra was the Guest of Honour.

The event marked the launch of PENN’s new Advisory Board. Guests at the event
included eminent personalities who have joined the same, including Mr S.R. Jangid IPS (DGP –
Retd -Tamil Nadu, Educationalist), Dr. Kamala Selvaraj (Chairperson, GG Hospitals), Justice
Prabha Sridevan (Rtd Judge – Madras High Court), Mr. Ravichandran Ashwin (Indian
Cricketer), Ms. Revathi (Actor – Director- Social Worker), Ms D. Sabitha, IAS (Additional
Chief Secretary- Retd), Mr P. Unnikrishnan (Carnatic Vocalist), and Dr Venkatraman (Senior
Consultant – UNESCO). The PENN anthem, composed by Lyricist, Music Director and Trustee
V. Sriram Sharma and performed by renowned playback singer , Padma Bhushan Ms. K.S.
Chithra (multiple National Awards Winner) and the video for the same was launched.

PENN’s trustees are: Mr. VS Sridhar (Senior corporate leader involved in the cause of
women’s safety since 2012), Mr. Sriram Sharma (theatre director, music composer,
playwright), Ms. Swarnalatha Mahesh (advocate specialising on woman and child safety)
and Mr. Sathyan (entrepreneur, event management, music and art educator).
Some of the activities that have been held since the organisation’s inception include
community engagement programmes, Self Defense & Cyber Security workshops at
Educational Institutions & Work places to prevent sexual abuse of women, children,
workshops on Prevention of Sexual Harassment ( PoSH ) in companies, awareness creation
through musical theatre play on the legendary Velu Nachiyar by V Sriram Sharma,
collaboration with the Police Department on creating awareness to prevent child marriage,
and social media campaigns to create awareness amongst audience to prevent sexual
abuses. PENN continued its work, even during Covid times, through online engagement with
vulnerable communities.

Speaking on PENN’s work, trustee Mr. VS Sridhar says, “Sexual violence is a serious issue in
India and the world. We came together to form PENN because we were alarmed by the
increasing incidence of sexual abuse, violence against women & children in India. As per
statistics ( 2020 ) of National Crime Records Bureau, across Country, every day, 77 women
are raped , while 109 children are sexually abused, daily out of which 54% are boys.
At PENN, we are committed to bringing about the societal change to prevent sexual abuse &
violence against Women & Children. We eagerly look forward to bringing more activities to
the general public that sensitise, educate and empower.”

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