P. Viji

P. Viji

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Category: Social Work

P. Viji Profile

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  • P. Viji

P. Viji Biography

P. Viji is a social activist from Kozhikode whose name was featured in BBC’s list of ‘100 woman’ in November 2018. She is associated with Penkootu, an association to fight for women's rights. She campaigned to build toilets for women on the street and also protested for the rights of saleswomen to sit for a while giving some wonderful results with her efforts. Another problem which she addressed was ensuring minimum wages for community Organisers of Kudumbashree who initially earned only Rs 1,500 as monthly pay. Initially it was increased to Rs 10,000 and later to Rs 28,000 per month.


Viji was born into a poor family in Kozhikode. Her dad was a bus driver and her mother worked as a maid. Women labourers are not given the dignity which they actually deserve and she has also witnessed his father beating her mother many times. She grew up watching her mother working day and night without any rest. Once well-known activist Ajitha came to her part of the town and spoke against domestic violence, which inspired Viji to fight for woman’s needs.


Viji and other working women formed Penkootu and launched the moothrapura samara, urging their right to build toilets in public places and work spaces. It led to a court case which finally resulted in the installation of e-toilets in the state. Yet another issue she addressed was the demand of some time for saleswomen to sit for a while when they are forced to stand for long hours at working places without any break. She spearheaded irikkal samaram (sitting protest) where the women protested by sitting with chairs on their heads and they won.

Published: March 23, 2019

Updated: March 23, 2019


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