In conjunction with the International Women's Day yesterday, Astro sat down for a chat with Selvamalar Selvaraju and Yiswaree Palansamy, the female moderators of Vizhuthugal: Samugathin Kural. Here's the interview.
Please share brief background on your current role at Vizhuthugal: Samugathin Kural and what your job entails?
Selvamalar: I am a moderator on Vizhuthugal: Samugathin Kural. I pose questions to panelists, trigger discussions, and keep the audience engaged with a little sense of humor too. Apart from Vizhuthugal: Samugathin Kural, I am the CEO of a social enterprise aiming to create more micro entrepreneurs by coaching the financially vulnerable group, in particular women, single mothers, the jobless, retrenched and underpaid.
Yiswaree: My role is as a talk show moderator. I host the segment on scheduled days; about two to three times a week, from 9pm till 10pm. My job is to moderate discussions between panelists on the selected discussion topics.
What does the 2021 International Women’s Day slogan, #ChooseToChallenge mean to you?
Selvamalar: Well, from what I observe most of the time women are perceived to be inferior to men and they could never beat out men. We often hear this shoutout of ‘women want equal rights with men!’ Based on my point of view, we don’t need equal rights with men and men are not our benchmark. Women can reach greater heights than men if they want and not just be equal. So, I think I #ChooseToChallenge this. We need such a slogan to push us, to challenge the unchallenged! For me it’s a timely slogan.
Yiswaree: The slogan this time around already sends a very strong message, calling upon us womenfolk to rise up to the daily challenges we are faced with, and to continue striving to break the glass ceiling. In the current pandemic situation, it is important for us women to not let our guards down.
How do you adapt to the demands of the entertainment industry while balancing your personal life and goals?
Selvamalar: I would say that this is tough. Juggling between shows, job and family (especially my 3-year-old son) is not easy. I keep telling myself not to give up and I plan my time well. By the way, I am glad that appearing on shows helps me to stay connected and continuously engaged with my entrepreneurs even during the lockdown, as most of them watch the show. In terms of family, I spend quality time with my husband and son as much as I can. My husband has learned to cook, and he does so when I am occupied with shows. I strongly believe when you add a little fun to whatever that you do, strike a balance between work and personal life, you can always achieve the goals set.
Yiswaree: Balance is the very essence of life. Like Yin and Yang. I make sure I give my best in both my career and my life outside of my job. How? Drawing a fine line between work and personal life. I usually do not bring work home and my personal life to work. It is important to maintain a good work quality as well as personal life so that I would be able to keep striving to chase my goals.
What would be your advice for woman who would like to pursue a similar career as yours?
Selvamalar: I have been involved with NGO work for the past 15 years. I love doing things to help the needy and underserved. To continuously grow in the entertainment field, one needs passion and energy. For women who wish to pursue a similar career as mine, if you have the right attitude, energy, passion and enthusiasm in striving hard to make others better, happy, successful, transformed, then you are ready for this job! After all, who wouldn’t want to be paid for what they love to do.
Yiswaree: Perseverance, grit and the determination to go further. These are the elements needed to build a successful career as a talk show host and moderator. One also has to be to resourceful. Never say never. Always strive to go the extra mile.
Please share your International Women’s Day greeting/message to your fans.
Selvamalar: I wish all my lovely ladies a very Happy Women’s Day! Can you imagine a world without us, women? No way! So, keep your head high, and your chin up!
Yiswaree: Never let your guard down for anything. Especially when you are pursuing your goals. Never let anyone tell you your limits. You are the best judge of your ability. The key isn't even the limit. It's beyond that. Happy Women’s Day!
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