The social activist’s contributions to women’s rights, education and health among other causes, were celebrated

Veteran social activist Sarojini Varadappan was an embodiment of humility and selfless service and an inspiration for many working in the fields of women empowerment and social upliftment, recalled speakers at a meeting organised here in her memory on Tuesday.

Representatives from various voluntary organisations which Ms. Varadappan was associated with remembered her as a true Gandhian who strived for women’s rights and education.

Unveiling the portrait of Ms. Varadappan, N. Murali, Co-Chairman, Kasturi & Sons Limited, said Ms. Varadappan’s life of grit, determination and service to others was an example worth emulating.

Her relentless efforts and dedication towards education earned her a degree when she was past 50 years. She completed her Ph.D. at the age of 80.

Though she was from a political family, Ms. Varadappan chose the path of social service, he added.

Former Supreme Court judge S. Mohan recalled Ms. Varadappan as a person with indomitable qualities, who overcame many hardships to serve the needy. Former Supreme Court judge S. Natarajan highlighted her association with many renowned activists such as Muthulakshmi Reddy, Durgabai Deshmukh and Ambujammal. She contributed to education through establishing schools and institutions in the city.

While V. Shantha, chairperson of Cancer Institute, highlighted Ms. Varadappan’s contribution in setting up the institute, former IAS officer B.S. Raghavan suggested that an institute of social service research must be created after Ms. Varadappan to encourage youngsters to take up research.

C.S. Veeraraghavan, Mylapore Academy’s honorary secretary, said that an endowment award would be created in memory of Ms. Varadappan to honour social activists.

Speakers including former IAS officer A.M. Swaminathan and plastic surgeon Mathangi Ramakrishnan said Ms. Varadappan was actively involved in field work till her last days.

Office bearers of various organisations, including Women’s Indian Association, All India Women’s Congress and Indian Council for Child Welfare paid their tributes.

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