A tragedy, precisely, murder of her husband allegedly by her own parents, charted a different course in life for her. After enduring a murder attempt and a subsequent failed suicide bid, she has transformed into a campaigner against casteism now.
A political ignoramus who had seldom heard about Periyar and Ambedkar has now made them her ideological gurus. She is 20-year-old Kausalya, better known as Udumlapet Sankar Kausalya, who, from being criticised for sporting a jeans and short hair after her husband’s death, even by a few friends and colleagues, has come of age and dedicates as much time to educating women on breaking caste shackles state wide as eking out her income.
“Even people I know comment on my dressing and hairdo. I do not bother. I do it to prove wrong those people who believe that women can only do certain things and women should be confined to the house,” said Kausalya who is now busy learning karate and parai (Tamil folk art) despite preparing for B Sc examination on distance education mode.
Starting as a guest speaker who had attended a few meetings to share her tragic encounter with casteism, she speaks in all towns but her native Palani against casteism. However, she has consciously avoided being associated with any organisation.
“I will have to work within their rules if I join any. Now, I am independent. I do what I can to the society. I travel wherever I can and meet women,” adds Kausalya who has started a free tuition centre for students from Class I to XII in Kumaralingam. Soon, she plans to offer free parai and silambam training to her village youths.
- Kausalya and her husband were attacked by hirelings engaged by her parents in Udumalpet market on March 13, 2016. CCTV footages of the murder shook the conscience of the state
- A couple of months, later she attempted suicide. She bounced back. Enrolled for distance education (B Sc). Learnt Parai and Karate. Employed in a private firm near Coimbatore, she still receives threats
- A BE (Computer Engineering student) drop-out who campaigns against casteism warns young men and women marrying out of their caste to be watchful