Founders of Banyan Foundation selected for 'Aram Award'

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Chennai, Aug 27 (UNI) Ms Vandana Gopikumar and Ms Vaishnavi Jayakumar, founders of the Banyan Foundation, a voluntary organisation for mentally-ill destitute women, were selected for 'Aram Award,' instituted by Shriram Ilakkiya Kazhagam, a literary wing of Shriram Group.

Announcing this at a press conference here, Shriram Group Executive Chairman G V Raman said Chhattisgarh Governor E S L Narasimhan would present the award at a function to be held here on September one.

The award, which carries a cash prize of Rs one lakh, was instituted primarily to honour eminent social contributors who adheres to the core values advocated by 'Thirukural,' saint-poet Thiruvalluvar's treatise on the art of living.

The Ilakkiya Kazhagam had been honouring eminent people with Aram award since 2003 and had honoured people like Aravind Eye hospital founder G Venkatasamy, Mr M P Vasimalai, founder of Dhan Foundation, Dr Kousalya Devi, Managing Trustee Gandhi Gram Trust and R Ilango, Trust for village self-governance, he said.

This year, the selection committee, which received 259 nominations, collectively decided to give the award to Ms Vandana and Ms Vaishnavi for their outstanding service in rescuing mentally ill women and rehabilitating them.

The Kazhagam also conducted elocution competitions at four levels-- junior, senior, super senior and college level at various places in the state. In all, 1,802 students participated in the competition, of which 64 reached final rounds and 12 emerged winners, three each from the four levels, Mr Raman said.


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