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 wil be commemorating their second anniversary with a press meet and event on March 5th 2022 from 10:30am-12.30pm at Welcomhotel Chennai. Singer Ms. K S Chitra will be the Guest of Honour.

The event will mark the launch of PENN’s new Advisory Board. Guests at the event will include 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 will be 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, Seif 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 thru 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, thru 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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