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Tuesday, 21 June 2016
Nivedita Raju

Chennai: Even as homemakers are often portrayed as those sitting at home and watching serials, here is Padma Murali, a resident of Madipakkam, who successfully balances family life and social work.

Padma is the president of Inner Wheel (the women's wing of Rotary Club), secretary of Sakthi Ladies Club, president of Iyyappa Nagar Relax Ladies Club and the executive committee member of Thambraas Association, Madipakkam ladies wing.

These apart, Padma is an avid writer and contributes to magazines where her spiritual stories are found. She received the 'Ilakiya Sindanai' award from 'Kalaimagal' magazine in 1976.

When asked about the pressure, Padma beams, saying, 'For me, service is relaxation'. She feels no exclusive time is required to relax when one does something that one is interested in.

Her service started off sometime during 1995, when she attended a blood donation camp. "Those days, it was tough to find people who donate blood and everyone who volunteered that day was excited about their good deed. Only then it struck me to take the next big step and devote my life for such causes."

Padma was also instrumental in getting Madipakkam its first batch of dustbins. Her Iyyappa Nagar Ladies Club in 1996, along with Sakthi Exnora, helped clean the Madipakkam lake, which was originally a dumpyard.

Being forced to shut down the club due to a few external factors, she and her team members determined to work for public welfare and eventually began another club called the Iyyappa Nagar Relax Ladies Club in 2009.

Her club has also participated in programmes in All India Radio and television channels. "We took part in several cookery shows both individually and as a group and won," says Padma. They also won rangoli competitions in the area.

She has helped largely when Gujarat was affected by a massive earthquake. "People came forward in huge numbers when I expressed the need for clothes and money to support Gujarat. I was stunned to see piles of brand new sarees being donated, instead of old ones,' says Padma.  

She also adds, "Women are always willing to help when asked. They volunteer with us for several causes. Most of them finish off their household work by 11 am and work with us till 4 pm, then go back and receive their children from schools. This kind of service can be done only when your are inclined towards it - if not it is very stressful."

Padma can be contacted at 9884450055.

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