Dr.Jaya Arunachalam was the President of Working Women's Forum (India), a social organisation initiated in 1978 to develop the total human resource potential of very poor women workers in the informal sector.
Dr.Jaya Arunachalam, a pioneer of the women's self help group movement in the country, died on 29 June 2019. A graduate in Economics and Geography, Dr.Jaya Arunachalam has a Diploma in Management from Washington, USA. She held several positions to her credit including:
Dr.Jaya Arunachalam has been a member of various committees constituted by the Union Ministry of Labour and Rehabilitation and Health and Family Welfare. She has been a member of the Steering group on Women' Development of the Eighth Five Year Plan, 1990-1995. In 2002 Dr.Jaya Arunachalam was awarded "Stree Shakthi Puraskar" for her outstanding services to poor working women by the Government of Tamil Nadu. In January 2003. She was conferred the "International Activist Award 2003" by the Glietsman Foundation, California, U.S.A., focusing on her contributions towards poverty eradication for over 25 years. As a mark of her services to all communities she received the "Rashtriya Ekta Award" from the National Awareness Forum (India).
She has attended and presented papers at innumerable National and International Conferences and visited several countries in North America, Europe, Africa, Latin America, Australia and Asia including China. She was chosen as the Chairperson at the FAO Non-Governmental Conference held at Rome in 1975, and has been a delegate to many such International meets. She has visited China in 1985 as a member of the inter-ministerial delegation from Government of India to study the population programmes of China. Her accomplishment has been the selection of WWF's strategy as one of the best model for 'Pro-poor strategy' at the Expo 2000 and subsequent invitation to participate at the Global Dialogue Meet held in Hannover, Germany in July 2000. She was the first South Asian woman member to be elected to the Governing Council of the Society for International Development, Rome. She was also a member of the Inter-ministerial Conference on Women and Children to Philippines in the year 1994.
Dr.Jaya Arunachalam has been associated with various essential Community Development Institutions such as the Women's Consumer Society in Chennai City, two children Homes both in urban and rural areas.
She has been a member of the governing board of the National Credit Fund established by the Government of India and is also the Trustee in the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Samarak Trust, New Delhi. She has served as a member of National Committee organising the 50th Anniversary of India's independence. She is the member of the National Advisory Committee of SIDBI. She has been a member of the Working Group on Flow of Credit to SSI Sector of the Reserve Bank of India, 2004.