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SARDAR VEDARATNAM PILLAI & http://www.gurukulam.org/
Kasthurba Gandhi Kanya Gurukulam
Vedaraniam is a village. It is near the sea shore. Salt pans spread far
and wide near the sea shore. It is in the south east corner of South
India. During the freedom struggle, when Gandhiji defied the ban of
taking salt from the sea in Dandi, North India, Vaedaraniam came to
light kindled by one of its veterans, a follower of Gandhiji's ideals.
He led the people of the village, in the salt satyagraha movement. He is
none other than Sardar Vedaratnam Pillai, the founder of this
In the history of freedom struggle he has earned a place and even now, the name of the village is very much identified outside the district and state with his name. After the participation in the salt satyagraha movement, he turned his eyes towards constructive work. He wanted to emancipate women from the shackles of slavery, drudgery, illiteracy and bondage. He dreamt to develop the Institution Kasthurba Gandhi Kanya Gurukulam into an organisation for downtrodden women, girls, widows and destitute. This was named after the illustrious woman of our times, Kasthurba Gandhi, the wife of Gandhiji. The institution was started from a scratch but slowly it was built by donations and gifts. A charitable trust came into being with accredited people as its members. They include the great pilanthropist Sri.Pollachi Dr.N.Mahalingam, well known industrialist, philosopher and educationist and home science expert Dr.Rajammal P.Devadoss(since no more), the present Chancellor of Sri Avinashilingam Home Science College of higher learning and deemed University, Coimbatore.
From 1946, till today the institution has grown up with the munificence of philanthropists and well wishers. Now it has a higher secondary school for girls from Standard I to XII, a school of printing to develop the printing skill to rural women. An electronic production unit to enable women to be self reliant and a cottage industry unit for the production of Agarbathi, Indian incense sticks. The institution is run on Sarvodaya lines. This is a living and learning cooperative community. In the Higher Secondary School, there are 1700 girls out of whom 600 share a community life; In the printing school, the strength is 50, where training is given in the various activities connection with printing. There is long felt need for expansion and modernisation in the press. The electronics training cum production unit has 12 women. Here also expansion is necessary. 20 girls are in the Agarbathi unit (perfume sticks)
Leaves and flowers Appakutti, the heir of
Sardar, succeeded him after his demise and served the same cause as his
father. Utilising the platform launched by his father the son advanced
further and expanded the operations. Appakutti,
remarkable in his own right, diversified and modernised the setup. He
upgraded the standards by switching to state board syllabus from the
Basic Education Plan.On 25th
March 1989, the government of India honoured him with the reputable
‘Padma Shri’ award for his selfless service. The Lions Clubs
International honoured him with the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellow [MJF].
He was also offered an honorary title by the Ramakrishna Vidyalaya in Chennai. The torch is now being carried by the grandson of Sardar, his namesake A. Vedaratnam Jr., who has now taken the institution to greater heights.
In the long march towards achieving the goals of the originator Sardar Vedaratnam Pillai, the following luminaries have associated themselves with the institution during various periods
Dr.N.Mahalingam Chairman Sakthi Groups, Madras.
Shri.V.Vedaiyan, M.A., Former MLA, Kallikkudi
Sri.J.Chakravarthy Mudaliar Managing Partner Swasthik Tobacco Factory Vedaraniam
Sri A.S.Ganesan Gandhian Social Worker and Paddy & Rice Merchant Alathambadi.
Sri S.Srinivasan Pillai Land Lord, Educationist Kathirpulam
Tmt V.Vedambal Achi S.K.M.S.Salt Merchants Vedaraniam
Tmt.A.Pushpavalli W/o Padmashri V.Appakutti Vedaraniam
Tmt.K.Akilandavalli Achi LandLord, Educationist Kathipulam P.O.
Mrs Jeeva Head Mistress (ex-officio)
Gandhigram Rural University, Gandhi Niketan Ashram T.Kallupatti
Sri Thayumanavar Vidyalayam
Sri Ramakrishnan Mission Vidyalaya Coimbatore
Gandhi Ashram Tiruchengodu
Gandhi Memorial Fund & Museums
Sri Avinashilingam Home Science University, Coimbatore
A. Vedaratnam, Managing Trustee
Biography: A. Vedantam Pillai
Mr. A.Vedantam Pillai was born in 1897. Even as a lad his love for swadeshi was intense. He was the General Secretary of the Reception Committee of the Tamilnadu Political Conference held at Vedaranyam. He took great initiative in starting Salt Satyagraha at his month's imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 200. The government confiscated his salt factory. During the campaign he thrice courted imprisonment.
Since 1925 he is attending all the sessions of Indian National Congress. He has presided over many district and taluq political conferences. He is the Vice President of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee and the Deputy Leader of the Congress Party in the Madras Legislature.
Mr. Pillai is a speaker of note. He dissolves the House into a chorus of laughter or rouses it to heights of passion.
Source: Haripura Congress Souvenir, 1938
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