18 AUGUST DR. T S SOUNDARAM (1904 to 1984)
Born on 18 August 1904, in Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu), Dr T S Soundaram hailed from one of India’s biggest industrial conglomerates. While she was a medical student, she came in contact with Gandhiji, which inspired her to get involved with India’s freedom movement. She devoted her life to the downtrodden, and, in 1947, was instrumental in setting up Gandhigram, where villagers were taught skills, and support was given to revive the local industries and thereby the economy of the rural community. Gandhiji was so impressed with her commitment that he appointed her as representative of South India’s Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust. She was one of the founder members of the National Service Scheme (NSS), which aimed to be a link between the Campus and the Community. For her relentless and selfless service, Dr Soundaram was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1962, and the government released a postage stamp in her honour in 2005. Dr Soundaram passed away on 21 October 1984.
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