Profile of Suganth Kumari

Topics: Kerala, Sahitya Akademi, Sugathakumari Pages: 3 (906 words) Published: April 9, 2013
Sugathakumari (born 1934) is an Indian poet and activist, who has been at the forefront of environmental and feminist movements in Kerala, South India. She played a big role in the Save Silent Valley protest. She formed Abhayagrama, aka Abhayagramam, a home for destitute women (Athani) and a day-care centre for the mentally ill. She was the former chairperson of the Kerala State Women's Commission. Her parents were the poet and freedom fighter Bodheswaran and V. K. Karthiyayini, a Sanskrit scholar.[2] Her husband is Dr K. Velayudhan Nair and her daughter is Lakshmi.[citation needed] She was the Principal of Jawahar Balabhavan.[citation needed] She was the editor of a magazine, Thaliru.[citation needed] She has won several awards, including the Kerala state government's Ezhuthachan Puraskaram Kumari was inspired by her father's poetry as well as his strong beliefs: 'He was a freedom fighter filled with the all too rare ideals of patriotism and sacrifice.' His example influenced her deeply and led her eventually to the conviction that the writer has an important obligation as a social conscience. Although she is best known as a poet environmentalist, Kumari is also the founder of Abhaya (refuge) -- an organization which gives shelter and hope to female mental patients. Her work to launch Abhaya was prompted by an off-chance visit to the government-run Mental Hospital in the capital, Thiruvananthapuram. There women were housed in 19th century conditions, sexually abused and regularly prostituted to men in the neighboring police camp. When she visited the hospital she saw 'women's bodies covered with sores and stark naked. They were emaciated and their hair was matted. They didn't even look like human beings.' The horror of this experience was embedded in her mind and she decided on the spot to do something about it, despite opposition to interventions from ngos by professionals in the field. Works

* Mutthuchippi (Pearl and Oyster) (1961)
* Pathirappookkal...
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