On the occasion of International Women's Day, S. Janaki, Executive Editor, Sruti, was honoured with the Women Achievers Award, for her service in the field of arts journalism, by the Women's Voluntary Service of Tamilnadu and the University Women's Association of Madras, on 7 March 2015. V. Susheela, Principal, Avvai Home, and Janaki were each presented a shawl, citation and memento by Dr. Yashodha Shanmugasundaram, Asst. Director, WVS. Leelavathi Patrick, Dr. K. Hari Priya and Shantha Venkataraman were also felicitated on the occasion. Scholarships were presented to college students and cash assistance was provided to destitute women. A group of WVS staffers presented Villupattu.
Dr. M. Priyamvadha, Asst. Professor, Dept. of Criminology, University of Madras, inaugurated the Legal Aid Centre and delivered a talk on Legal Protection for Women. She said that female infanticide and geronticide are even now rampant in Tamil Nadu. It was horrifying to learn that as many as 108 ways of killing infants and 27 ways to finish of the old are being adopted in different regions of the state.
In her acceptance speech, Janaki drew attention to the role of arts in society. Arts can play a major role in this violent world by spreading harmony, developing sensitivity and shaping better human beings, she said. Music can soothe even a savage beast. An idle mind is a devil's workshop and it would be good for children to learn some art or the other – music, dance or painting – to channelise their energy and creativity; to pursue the arts as a hobby if not as a profession. The arts inculcate discipline, focus and a sense of fulfilment. Music and dance can make learning more fun in school. If arts and sports are re-introduced for students in schools and colleges, youngsters will shape up into better citizens and there will be less criminals and rapists in society. She exhorted the Central and the State governments to integrate the arts into the school curriculum, give more space to the arts, and allocate more funds to support the arts and artists because the rich and unique heritage of art and culture are India's intangible assets.