Shivamogga: The Shimoga Multipurpose Social Service Society® celebrated its Annual Day – 2023 and Streebandhu Vividhoddesha Souharda Sahakari Sangha Niyamita its Decennial Celebration on 22 Nov. 2023 through a public programme at Lagana Mandira premises, Gadikoppa, Shimoga.
Most Rev. Dr Francis Serrao SJ, the Bishop of the diocese of Shimoga and the President of The Shimoga Multipurpose Social Service Society presided over the programme. Dr Shree Basava Marulasidda Swamiji of Basava Mandira Chikmagalur and Basava Kendra Shimoga with his esteemed presence graced the occasion. Abdul Latheef SaAdi, Shimoga, National Secretary, SSF India, B. Jayashree, Theatre Artiste, Director, Singer and Rajyasabha nominated Ex MP and Dr Akkai Padmashali, Transgender and Sexuality Minorities Rights Activist & Founder Ondede, Advisory Member, National Committee on Inclusion, Election Commission of India, Singer, and Motivational Speaker were the special guests.
Rev. Msgr Felix Joseph Noronha, the Vicar General of the diocese of Shimoga and the Vice-president of SMSSS was the Special Invitees. Precilla Martis, the President of Streebandhu Vividhoddesha Souharda Sahakari Sangha Niyamita delivered the introductory speech. Rev. Fr Dr Clifford Roshan Pinto, the Director of Chaitanya and the Secretary of SMSSS organised the programme meticulously.
The guests were accorded a grand welcome through Purna- Kalasa and Dollu Kunitha. Students from Loyola High School, Shivamogga, through a devotional Prayer Dance invoked God’s blessings on the programme and upon everyone present for the programme. Rev. Msgr Felix Joseph Noronha welcomed the dignitaries and the participants.
Precilla Martis, the President of Streebandhu Sahakari in the introductory speech highlighted the progress made by SMSSS and Streebandhu Cooperative, thanked all women for the strong support and urged them to continue the same. She noted that apart from savings and loan facilities the Cooperative is honouring the children of the members who excel in SSLC and PUC examinations and is providing death fund to the family when an active member of the Cooperative dies. the programme was inaugurated by all the dignitaries on the dais by lightening 10 lamps signifying the completion of 10 successful years of Streebandhu Vividhoddesha Souharda Sahakari Sangha Niyamita.
The documentary highlighted the magnificent work of SMSSS and the tremendous growth of Streebandhu Sahakari. Abdul Latheef SaAdi, Shimoga, National Secretary, SSF India in his address highly appreciated the work of SMSSS and opined that a gathering of more than 6500 women for a programme where people of all religions sitting together as members of one family is a sign of harmony. Through a story he highlighted the point that God expects everyone to respect their mothers.
This gathering in itself a more significant inter-religious gathering as women of all religions are members of one Cooperative promoting secular values. Through the lines of the poem, he analysed how a woman is praised in the society. When such praises become a reality, then there will be a major change in the society.
During the programme the following 07 achievers who are directly associated with SMSSS were honoured for their achievements, Arni H, Versatile talent, Felicita Almeida, PhD in Mathematics, Maruthi S, NSS Award for outstanding Voluntary Community Service, Kavitha Jane Crasta, PhD in Commerce, Rukaya Banu, PhD in Industrial Chemistry, Supriya B. N., Gold Medal in M.Com., Stany Lopes, Honorary Doctorate for special achievement in the field of Comprehensive Arts and Literature.
Dr Shree Basava Marulasidda Swamiji highlighted the achievements of both B. Jayashree and Dr Akkai Padmashali. The contribution of both these stalwarts to the society is great. In an era when the society does not give prominence to women, these two great personalities have made a big difference. Dr Akkai Padmashali is a role model for withstanding all struggles and rejections from one’s own loved ones. Woman is a synonym for love, compassion.
The entire society should respect her. She is the burning light in the family. She is the first one to rise in the morning and after doing all the works in the house, and in some cases even earn for the family, she is the last one to retire to bed. Inspite of doing all of this, the work of every woman goes unnoticed. SMSSS is doing a wonderful service of economic empowerment of thousands of women through Streebandhu Cooperative.
The director of SMSSS, Rev. Fr Dr Clifford Roshan Pinto announced that SMSSS is reaching out to thousands of economically poor women in the rural areas though health service and this has become a reality solely because of the collaboration and support of famous hospitals in Shimoga. Sarji Group of Hospitals and Sarji Foundation, Shimoga has been collaborating with SMSSS and conducting several free health checkup camps and health awareness programmes in several places and is providing free medicines to the patients.
The hospital is providing treatment at a concession rate to patients who are referred for further treatment. Dr Dhananjaya Sarji, the Chairman of the Hospitals and Foundation was honoured. Nanjappa Hospital and Nanjappa Life-Care, Shimoga is another set of Hospitals that is conducting several free health camps and health awareness programmes.
Dr Namratha Udupa was honoured on behalf of Nanjappa Hospital and Nanjappa Life-Care, Shimoga. Idrishti Eye Hospital is another such hospital which is conducting eye check up camps in several places throughout the year. Murali, the Manager of the hospital was honoured for the services rendered to the society by Idrishti Eye Hospital through SMSSS.
On this occasion Devadan, the Manager of Streebandhu Vividhoddesha Souharda Sahakari Sangha Niyamita and Jagadeesha K. H., Coordinator of SMSSS, were honoured for their committed services to the organisations they serve.
It was a joyous moment to declare the “Chaitanyashri” 2022 and “Chaitanyashri” 2023. The President of SMSSS, Most Rev. Dr Francis Serrao SJ declared that “Chaitanyashri” 2022 will be conferred on Dr Akkai Padmashali and “Chaitanyashri” 2023 will be conferred on B. Jayashree. Rev. Fr Dr Clifford Roshan Pinto read the citations.
The struggle gone through by Dr Akkai Padmashali and her tremendous contribution to uplift the transgender and sexuality minority communities was highlighted. Tears of joy flowed down from the eyes of a good number of women for honouring a Transgender Activist. The contributions of Padma Shri B. Jayashree were highlighted in the citation. Being a theatre artiste, director and singer, she has created a positive impact on the ordinary people, mainly women. The award consists of a shawl, a garland, a peta, a memento, citation, a basket of fruits and a cheque for Rs 25,000.
After receiving the award, B. Jayashree thanked the organisation for recognizing her contribution to the society and honouring her. She urged the participants to appreciate the achievements of others. In brief she explained about how she has become what she is today. Dr Akkai Padmashali spoke about her struggles during childhood and how she courageously decided to live the life she is leading today. She stated that it was very tough to convince people that he is no longer he but she and lead a female life.
Born as Jagadeesha, and later on becoming Akkai Padmashali and boldly starting to lead a feminine life, Dr Akkai Padmashali had a very tough beginning. It was her commitment, conviction and bold approach that have helped her to lead a dignified life now. She vehemently condemned the discrimination towards sexuality minority groups and urged everyone present to respect people as they are. Dr Akkai appreciated the marvelous work of SMSSS and thanked the President, the Secretary and the Board for honouring her with Chaitanyashri 2022 award.
In his presidential address, Most Rev. Dr Francis Serrao SJ noted that the two great personalities are models for everyone. In short the President explained how some of the dramas and movies of B. Jayashree have impacted the common people both rural and urban.
The President explained how the struggle of Dr Akkai Padmashali should motivate all of us to work for the upliftment of the minorities. While appreciating the works of SMSSS and the success of Streebandhu Cooperative, he urged women to become a voice to the voiceless and be a change maker in the society. The president congratulated the Director and his entire team for organising such a wonderful programme.
All the dignitaries on the dais were felicitated. Jagadeesha KH proposed the vote of thanks. Gloria Jyothi Furtado and Sylvia Maria Correa compered the programme. The celebration ended with lunch.