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No Gender Bias At The Murugappa Group

Much water has flown under the bridge since Valli Arunachalam stirred a hornet’s nest when she alleged gender discrimination to board positions at the Murugappa group. After a unilateral public spat, the daughter of late MV Murugappan (who was the chairman of CUMI) smoked a peace pipe with her family members to finally go her separate way after legal negotiations. Is there a gender bias at the Murugappa group? Not really if one were to go by the presentation made by MA Alagappan, chairman of AMM Foundation, which is a corporate social responsibility wing of the Chennai-based Murugappa group. Top women members of the family were prominently featured on the audio-visual which articulated the work of the foundation, which is celebrating its centenary. Each one of the women spoke with passion and in eloquent English. Insiders aver that the ladies at the group are intensely involved in the not-for-profit activities that directly touch upon the lives of the downtrodden. Be it in running hospitals or schools, the women folk in the family are right up there to provide the hand-holding.  “We would like to be felt and not heard,” said Alagappan, pointing to the works of the foundation over the last 100 years. Established in 1924, the foundation manages five hospitals and an equal number of educational institutions. Behind the successful running of the foundation are these ladies who quietly carry on the Good Samaritan work at the Murugappa group.