Tribal woman in Tiruvannamalai is the first from community to become a civil judge

Updated - February 16, 2024 02:46 pm IST

Published - February 13, 2024 10:28 pm IST - TIRUVANNAMALAI

V. Sripathy

V. Sripathy

A 23-year-old woman from the Malayali tribe in Yelagiri Hills (along Jawadhu Hills), Tirupattur district, has scripted history by becoming the first civil judge from her community.

V. Sripathy, who is a young mother, cleared the examination conducted by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) to achieve this feat. “I did my entire schooling in Yelagiri Hills before pursuing law. The idea to do a law course was to provide legal aid for the people of my community as they are not aware of their legal rights,” she said.

Among the praises that poured in for Ms. Sripathy was a congratulatory message by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin. In a post on X, Mr. Stalin said that he was happy that she (Ms. Sripathy) attained such heights despite hailing from a remote tribal village.

The government order (G.O.) in 2021 that prioritised employment for persons studying in Tamil medium schools, first-generation graduates, and for youth who lost both their parents due to COVID-19 provided her an opportunity to achieve this feat under the Dravidian model, Mr. Stalin said in the post.

The Chief Minister also appreciated her mother and her husband for their support.

Ms. Sripathy was born in Thuvinjikuppam, a remote village near Chengam town in Tiruvannamalai district.

The village is tucked away in the reserve forest with no proper roads and schools. The nearest bus service is available at Paramanandal village, around 15 kms from the village.

Ms. Sripathy is the eldest child of S. Kaliappan, a farmer, and K. Malliga.

In search of better standards of living, her parents migrated to Athanavoor village in Yelagiri Hills years ago.

Her mother did household chores in the village to support her family, including the education for her three children.

Along with her younger siblings, K. Saranya and K. Suriyaprakash, Ms. Sripathy did her entire schooling - from Class 1 to Class 12 - at the St. Charles Higher Secondary School in Athanavoor village.

She took up Pure Science in the higher secondary school, and completed it in 2016-17 before pursuing law at the Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College.

“She was a studious student. She scored above 75% in her school examination. Even after the completion of her schooling, she used to visit the school to share her ideas,” said Sister Victoria Arulrani, the school’s principal.

She pursued law at the government college.

During this period, she prepared for the examination.

Even after her marriage to S. Venkatesan, an ambulance driver, she pursued her ambition of becoming a civil judge, studying from her in-law’s house in Puliyur village, Chengam town.

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