Sardar Vedaratnam

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Sardar Vedaratnam Pillai (25 December 1897 - 24 August 1961) was an Indian freedom-fighter, a leader of the Indian National Congress and a famous philanthropist who served as a MLA for three terms over a period of 14 years. He is known for his heroic contributions in the salt march of Vedaranyam in 1930, alongside C. Rajagopalachari.

In the year 1931 Vedaratnam was conferred with the title of ‘Sardar’ at the meeting of the Tamil Nadu Agriculturists and labourers at Tirunelveli, for his exploits in the Vedaranyam Salt March.

He was multi-lingual and patronised many native arts.

In the year 1946, he founded the Kasturba Gandhi Kanya Gurukulam [1] which is a rural, charitable women's welfare organisation situated in Vedaranyam. This orphanage, since then, has continued its services of feeding, sheltering and educating many helpless girl children.

In the year 1997, the government of India honoured this leader by releasing a postal stamp in commemoration of his centenary celebration.

Early life[edit]

On 25 February 1897, Vedaratnam came into the world in a traditional Hindu family in the coastal town of Vedaranyam in Tamil Nadu. He was born in the noble lineage of the phenomenal saint-poet Thayumanavar, who richly served Tamil literature and religion.

Vedaratnam hence personified simplicity, piety, fiery patriotism and served the temple and conducted prayers right from his tender days. As he turned twenty, he was greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and his ideology. He was equally enamoured by the ancient Thirukural.

His Legacy[edit]

The rural women welfare organisation that he founded has provided succour to thousands of poor girl children over the years and is fully functional to the day. Many visitors from various countries have paid visits to Gurukulam and have appreciated their services.[2]

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