Amudhashanti was born in Madurai; her father owned a small shop and her mother was a housewife. She was born with a physical disability. “My parents were worried for my future. My father often said, ‘How will she live a normal life with this disability?’”
Her parents did not have the means to provide her with proper education, still, they managed to enrol her in an ashram at Sivasailam, Tirunelveli where she could stay and get free education. “At first, I used to feel embarrassed as my classmates used to pass comments on me and mock me.”
But this did not deter her. She studied hard and after completing her graduation, she went back to her home to start working as an accountant to support her family. But soon, she realised that it wasn’t easy to live a life with physical disability.
That’s when she realised she wanted to help physically challenged people achieve their potential. “I began my efforts by visiting rural areas of Madurai to help educate the poor and physically disabled women thereby giving them vocational training,” Amudhashanthi says. But her dream was to start my own organization to help people like her.
But this dream wasn’t going to be easy to achieve. When she told her parents about her plans, her father wasn’t supportive. He said, “Why are you getting into this silly thing? You’re not going to achieve anything great out of this. You should focus on your job.” But she was determined.
In 2005, she finally launched Thiyagam Women’s Trust to help women like her on a more professional ground by providing them vocational training. “I got a great response, so I began offering free tuitions for rural children in Madurai.”
So far her center has benefited more than 9000 students and her work has garnered 102 awards from government and private organisations.
Mahindra salutes the challenger spirit of people like Amudhashanti who reminds us that with grit and determination, we can change the world and help the people around us. #Rise