February 23, 2007

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P. Gopinathan, Poovathur in Kollayil Panchayat, Neyyattinkara

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P.Gopinathan may have studied only upto 6th standard and may not know either English or other branches of knowledge.  But from the age of 9 he has dedicated his working life to the art of weaving.  He has so far taught this vocational skill to more than 10000 persons.

Long before empowerment of women had become an accepted concept, Gopinathan had commenced practicing it by starting Bharat Mahila Samajam in 1979.  He gifted his 85-cent land in Poovathur in Kollayil Panchayat, Neyyattinkara to the Samajam.  The 450-spinning units Samajam has today expanded into a 10-acre umbrella organization with 27 Mahila Samajams employing more than 2000 women in 1050 spinning units.

Born into a poor weaver family at Manjuvilakam, Gopinathan learned the art of weaving from his parents.  Later he gathered more knowledge from his jobs at Nagarcoil, Madurai and Selam.  At the age of 22 he came back to his native place to gather the wherewithal from many persons and start the first spinning unit.

In recognition of his almost half-a-century of effort to promote weaving and for providing employment to more than 2000 rural women, the nation honoured him with Padmasree recently.


Courtesy:Mathrubhumi, January 28, 2007
Contributed by: Administrator


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