Dravidian pioneer and women empowerment

‘Dr.Kalaignar M.Karunanidhi’ the name which was a ray of hope that enlightened millions, directly or indirectly been a part of the lives of every native and resident of Tamil Nadu. More than welfare, what Kalaignar aimed for was equality. Being a dravidian ideologue, he strongly believed that educating and uplifting women will bring  social balance and growth. His progressive social policies, from legislating self-respect marriage to ensuring property rights for women, made way towards significant social development in TN. This article mainly focuses on some of the remarkable welfare schemes and the way he honored women who contributed for the dravidian movement,social justice and social equality for women.
E.V.R Nagammaiyar Memorial Free graduate Education for girls scheme
This scheme was introduced to protect the interest and  welfare of the girl child while getting free higher education. It was initiated and extended from 2007-08, since when free education scheme to students was introduced in Government and Government Aided colleges.
The scheme was named in the memory of  E.V.R Nagammaiyar who played a major role in prohibition of India movement, picketing of liquor shops in erode and Vaikom Satyagraha, launched by Periyar with the aim of ensuring that lower-caste communities gained the right to enter temples.
Moovalur Ramamirtham Ammaiyar Memorial Marriage Assistance Scheme
This Scheme is implemented is to improve the educational status of economically poor girls. The assistance is given to girls who have completed 10th Standard, +2, Diploma or Degree.The Objectives of the Scheme is to help financially poor parents for their  daughter’s marriage and to promote the educational status of poor girls.
The scheme named after Moovalur Ramamirtham,who was a social reformer, author, and political activist of the Dravidian Movement, who worked for the abolition of  Devadasi system in the  Madras Presidency.
Dr.Dharmambal Ammaiyar Memorial Widow Remarriage Assistance Scheme
This scheme was launched in the year 1975 with the focus to rehabilitate the widows and to encourage the widow remarriage.
The scheme honouring  Dr.S.Dharmambal, who was very much influenced by the ideas of Periyar, she showed great interest in implementing widow remarriage, inter caste marriage and women education. She participated in the Hindi agitation programme and went to Jail many times
Annai Theresa Ninaivu Orphan girls Marriage Assistance Scheme
The Annai Teresa Ninaivu Orphan Girls Marriage Assistance Scheme named after Mother Theresa remembering her service to bring up orphan children is being implemented by the Tamil Nadu Government to improve the educational status of the orphan girls. The assistance is given to girls who have completed 10th Standard, +2, Diploma or Degree.
Legislation of Self Respect Marriage
Self respect marriage is a wedding which does not consist of Brahmin priests, holy fire, saptapadi (seven steps) and mangalsutra. Periyar’s self-respect marriages knocked all regressive practices. He advocated total equality between the bride and groom.  When C.N. Annadurai become the chief minister of Tamilnadu in 1967, the first file he signed was to legalize self-respect marriages which then become act in 1968.TN became the first and the only state to legalize self respect marriages which made-up number of inter caste marriages.
Women Police force
In 1973, women were inducted into police force by kalaignar government . Women Constables and Women SI were recruited in Tamil Nadu Police for first time.
Equal share of property for women
Tamil Nadu Government Amendment Act 1989 paved the way to help women to inherit property with retrospective effect to enable women to enjoy equal benefits like male members of the family.
Reservation for women in local governance
DMK regime legislated 33 per cent reservation for women in local bodies – by which 44,143 women including 2 Women Mayors assumed office; of the two Women Mayors one belonged to SC community.
Reservation for women in government job
30 per cent reservation for women in government jobs were enacted during the DMK regime by Kalaignar.
Self Help Groups for women (SHG)
 Kalaignar introduced Women Entrepreneurs scheme and Women’s Small Trade Loan with saving scheme. A SHG is a group of about 20 people from a homogeneous class, who come together for addressing their common problems. They use this pooled resource to make small interest bearing loans to their members.
This gradually builds financial discipline and credit history for themselves, as the money involved in the lending operations is their own hard earned money saved over time with great difficulty.
The bank loans are given without any collateral and at market interest rates. In 2010, 17.50 cr  has been made by SHG through their products.
Free Gas Stove and gas cylinder
Kalaignar launched the free distribution of cooking gas connections and gas stoves for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. Launching the scheme, Chief Minister said the DMK manifesto for the May 2006 Assembly elections was not the one to attract voters but it was tools to improve the living standard of the poor and reduce the burden of women.
TN Goverment Free Color Television Scheme
Kalaignar has announced that the scheme for Free distribution of Colour Television sets will be commenced on 15.09.2006 on the occasion of the Birthdays of Anna and Periyar. Further he stated that this scheme focuses on providing entertainment to women and to enable them to acquire General Knowledge. Political Critics mocked it as freebies but a recent study proved that Crime against women has been reduced proportionately as an effect of Television in every house.
Transgender Commission
Kalaignar was the person to put forth the idea of including ‘transgender’ as the third gender officially. Kalaignar’s TN government established the country’s first-ever Transgender Persons Welfare Board to allow them to be directly involved in the making of policies that affect them. The board gave transgender identity card, allowing them to apply for and get ration cards, voter IDs, driving licenses and other identity documents. Kalaignar honoured transgenders by coining the words ‘thirunangai’ and ‘thirunambi’. Under this welfare board, houses were built and self work groups initiated. Education of the transgender was ensured to be free for them.
Other than the above mentioned, there are number of welfare schemes designed for a cause that  ensured to promote social capital, equality and social justice among different sections of Tamil society. The contributions of the great dravidian leader Kalaignar M.Karunanidhi to the Tamil society touches lives of millions and are remembered forever.
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‘Dr.Kalaignar M.Karunanidhi’ the name which was a ray of hope that enlightened millions, directly or indirectly been a part of the lives of every native and resident of Tamil Nadu. More than welfare, what Kalaignar aimed for was equality. Being a dravidian ideologue, he strongly believed that educating and uplifting women will bring  social balance and growth. His progressive social policies, from legislating self-respect marriage to ensuring property rights for women, made way towards significant social development in TN. This article mainly focuses on some of the remarkable welfare schemes and the way he honored women who contributed for the dravidian movement,social justice and social equality for women.
E.V.R Nagammaiyar Memorial Free graduate Education for girls scheme
This scheme was introduced to protect the interest and  welfare of the girl child while getting free higher education. It was initiated and extended from 2007-08, since when free education scheme to students was introduced in Government and Government Aided colleges.
The scheme was named in the memory of  E.V.R Nagammaiyar who played a major role in prohibition of India movement, picketing of liquor shops in erode and Vaikom Satyagraha, launched by Periyar with the aim of ensuring that lower-caste communities gained the right to enter temples.
Moovalur Ramamirtham Ammaiyar Memorial Marriage Assistance Scheme
This Scheme is implemented is to improve the educational status of economically poor girls. The assistance is given to girls who have completed 10th Standard, +2, Diploma or Degree.The Objectives of the Scheme is to help financially poor parents for their  daughter’s marriage and to promote the educational status of poor girls.
The scheme named after Moovalur Ramamirtham,who was a social reformer, author, and political activist of the Dravidian Movement, who worked for the abolition of  Devadasi system in the  Madras Presidency.
Dr.Dharmambal Ammaiyar Memorial Widow Remarriage Assistance Scheme
This scheme was launched in the year 1975 with the focus to rehabilitate the widows and to encourage the widow remarriage.
The scheme honouring  Dr.S.Dharmambal, who was very much influenced by the ideas of Periyar, she showed great interest in implementing widow remarriage, inter caste marriage and women education. She participated in the Hindi agitation programme and went to Jail many times
Annai Theresa Ninaivu Orphan girls Marriage Assistance Scheme
The Annai Teresa Ninaivu Orphan Girls Marriage Assistance Scheme named after Mother Theresa remembering her service to bring up orphan children is being implemented by the Tamil Nadu Government to improve the educational status of the orphan girls. The assistance is given to girls who have completed 10th Standard, +2, Diploma or Degree.
Legislation of Self Respect Marriage
Self respect marriage is a wedding which does not consist of Brahmin priests, holy fire, saptapadi (seven steps) and mangalsutra. Periyar’s self-respect marriages knocked all regressive practices. He advocated total equality between the bride and groom.  When C.N. Annadurai become the chief minister of Tamilnadu in 1967, the first file he signed was to legalize self-respect marriages which then become act in 1968.TN became the first and the only state to legalize self respect marriages which made-up number of inter caste marriages.
Women Police force
In 1973, women were inducted into police force by kalaignar government . Women Constables and Women SI were recruited in Tamil Nadu Police for first time.
Equal share of property for women
Tamil Nadu Government Amendment Act 1989 paved the way to help women to inherit property with retrospective effect to enable women to enjoy equal benefits like male members of the family.
Reservation for women in local governance
DMK regime legislated 33 per cent reservation for women in local bodies – by which 44,143 women including 2 Women Mayors assumed office; of the two Women Mayors one belonged to SC community.
Reservation for women in government job
30 per cent reservation for women in government jobs were enacted during the DMK regime by Kalaignar.
Self Help Groups for women (SHG)
 Kalaignar introduced Women Entrepreneurs scheme and Women’s Small Trade Loan with saving scheme. A SHG is a group of about 20 people from a homogeneous class, who come together for addressing their common problems. They use this pooled resource to make small interest bearing loans to their members.
This gradually builds financial discipline and credit history for themselves, as the money involved in the lending operations is their own hard earned money saved over time with great difficulty.
The bank loans are given without any collateral and at market interest rates. In 2010, 17.50 cr  has been made by SHG through their products.
Free Gas Stove and gas cylinder
Kalaignar launched the free distribution of cooking gas connections and gas stoves for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. Launching the scheme, Chief Minister said the DMK manifesto for the May 2006 Assembly elections was not the one to attract voters but it was tools to improve the living standard of the poor and reduce the burden of women.
TN Goverment Free Color Television Scheme
Kalaignar has announced that the scheme for Free distribution of Colour Television sets will be commenced on 15.09.2006 on the occasion of the Birthdays of Anna and Periyar. Further he stated that this scheme focuses on providing entertainment to women and to enable them to acquire General Knowledge. Political Critics mocked it as freebies but a recent study proved that Crime against women has been reduced proportionately as an effect of Television in every house.
Transgender Commission
Kalaignar was the person to put forth the idea of including ‘transgender’ as the third gender officially. Kalaignar’s TN government established the country’s first-ever Transgender Persons Welfare Board to allow them to be directly involved in the making of policies that affect them. The board gave transgender identity card, allowing them to apply for and get ration cards, voter IDs, driving licenses and other identity documents. Kalaignar honoured transgenders by coining the words ‘thirunangai’ and ‘thirunambi’. Under this welfare board, houses were built and self work groups initiated. Education of the transgender was ensured to be free for them.
Other than the above mentioned, there are number of welfare schemes designed for a cause that  ensured to promote social capital, equality and social justice among different sections of Tamil society. The contributions of the great dravidian leader Kalaignar M.Karunanidhi to the Tamil society touches lives of millions and are remembered forever.