I run a school in Kannagi Nagar for children in the area. I’m a headmistress who has only studied till Class 6.
We have had thousands of students pass out from the school, and hundreds more studying now.
Children from the area are downtrodden since the tsunami that hit in 2004. They have no family, and often, are left to join gangs and other bad activities.
You should see them – they’re left on the streets with no other option. Education is so important because it gives them a chance to have pride in themselves and decide their own future.
When I think of the children and what they’ve all become, I always start crying.
It wasn’t easy. At first, there were people who used to come to the school and threaten my life for running a school here. My husband, who is an auto driver, has protected me throughout my effort. He is the light that leads my path.
I am very vocal about people who need to be spoken for. If I would have finished my education, I would have become an advocate, and fight for people’s rights in court.
I like to help people. It fulfils my life. I also make food for the people who take shelter underneath flyovers. I always ask them what they want for lunch – they say they like kara kozhambu. After taking a bite, they’ll grasp my hand and thank me. That’s what I live for.