Anbu Sengo Arasi, a Christian woman from Tamil Nadu, south India, was awarded the Vettri Thirumagal (successful woman) Awards-2022 by Radolabs Private Limited on March 24, 2022.
Anbu has experience in various aspects of community development and social action over the past 22 years, including human rights advocacy, counseling, reporting, fact-finding missions, demonstrations, campaigns, and cooperative strategy.
“I am glad that this recognition is for the common good and our advocacies that champion the causes of poor people, women, and other marginalized communities,” she told RVA News.
Moreover, what matters is her relentless fight for people’s rights, dignity, and livelihood.
“Every person should have opportunities to experience one’s right and dignity and avail resources that can be at the service of the common good,” Anbu said.
She was honored before Latha Pandiyarajan, co-founder of Ma Foi Strategic Consultants, Santhosam V. G., the chairperson of the VGP, Lata C., the secretary of the Tamil Nadu Athletic Association, Sabarisan Rangabashyam, the Medical Director of the Bewell Hospital, and Shakthi, the Radio Jockey of Radio City 91.1 FM.
She addressed community concerns that have resulted from national or international policies and practices.
She is specialized in lobbying and advocacy, counseling, rehabilitation methodologies, community training, resource mobilization, social survey, and documentation.
Anbu served as project coordinator at Arakkonam, Society for Rural Education and Development (SRED), from April 1999 to March 2000 and from April 2004 to 2009.
Here she worked to build various unorganized sector movements to voice out the voiceless the various movements like Marthamma Liberation Movement, Dalit Women Liberation Movement, Agricultural Labour Movement, Brick-lin workers Movement, Quarry Workers Movement, Irular Liberation Movement, Bullock Cart Workers Movement.
Through leadership and capacity-building training, she made them claim their rights on their own.
By initiating international letter-writing campaigns and peaceful demonstrations on behalf of destitute women who are impacted by poorly implemented microcredit schemes, Anbu has successfully lobbied for their rights.
Internationally, she has drawn attention to how Special Economic Zones (SEZ) evicted the agricultural lands and encouraged multinational companies to locate there, which leads the agricultural lands fewer workers to lose their jobs and their livelihood as the uncompensated eviction of Dalit women laborers.
Anbu has also worked for the cause of commercial sex workers, by helping them with their legal rights, Health rights and coming out with free legal aid and free medical check-ups every week in their places and also started Day Care Centers for their socially deprived children.
She worked on the National AIDS control organization (NACO) project at the Southern Railway Headquarters Hospital in Chennai as a counselor at Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre (ICTC) from March 2000 to September 2001.
The Southern Railway Chief Medical Directors Office in Chennai employed her as a Senior Programme Assistant from 2001 to September 2002 in their NACO project.
From October 2009 to August 2011, she was appointed as National Level Coordinator for Positive Women's Network at Chennai.
Anbu has also worked extensively in large-scale health education projects, in which she has educated rural and urban communities about AIDS awareness and counseled high-risk groups (HIV positive persons), and campaigned on prevention methods at the grassroots level.
As a national level coordinator in the Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission of HIV & AIDS (PPTCT) Project, Anbu helps HIV-infected pregnant women to protect their children from Mother to Child transmission of HIV.
Anbu has also been involved in organizing self-help and support groups for HIV-positive women and she provides counseling and access to information & medicines to the support groups.
Women living with HIV/AIDS (WLHA) can generate income and create livelihoods through modules developed by her, and she also organized national forums, public hearings, as well as workshops for self-help groups.
Between September 2011 and October 2013, she worked as a project coordinator for the Tamil Nadu Women's Forum in Chennai, South India.
To address the needs of rural women, she has also pushed for free land redistribution from Tamil Nadu Government that would include rural women.
Addressing the issue of disadvantaged women on a local and global scale and empowering vulnerable women to participate effectively in democratic processes.
From October 2015 to April 2017, she was appointed as principal at Andavan Community College in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu, south India.
Anbu also enrolled school drop-outs in Andavan community colleges where they provided life skill education and technical training in driving, two-wheeled and four-wheeled mechanics, tailoring and fashion designing, computer hardware, and house electrics.
After the completion of the course, through campus interviews, the students were appointed to various companies at a reasonable salary.
Over the years, she has traveled around the world to share her genius speech with the people.
In 2017, she was one of eight participants selected from all over the world by the Centre for Human Rights Studies at Columbia University, USA, for their program in Human Rights Advocacy.
She also participated in the fifth international conference on HIV/AIDS in Malaysia in 1999.
In 2007, she attended the Asia Pacific Women Law in Development conference on Women's Political participation in Cambodia.
She has undergone training in Civil Society Auditing in Bangkok in 2008.
In 2009, she participated in the regional conference Dialogue in the Philippines on "Transformational Leadership Building in Marginal Communities".
Currently, she works as an Administrative Officer at Madras Christian Council of Social Service (MCCSS) which is an Ecumenical institute working especially for urban slum women.
On June 7, 1975, Anbu SengoArasi was born to Ahan Ezlmaivanan and Agil Thirma Arai as their fifth child.
She married Kingston Titus Anand who passed away in 2020; she is living with her daughter K. Sharon Nava Neha in Arakkonam, south India.
Her utmost desire is that more and more women from marginalized sectors should be empowered, educated, and given opportunities to earn and contribute to families and society at large.
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