Kethorai Rajamma, who made all those known her , especially the Badagas, very proud by winning an award from the President of India, recently has written to say,
My earnest greetings..Your efforts for the beautiful bagadas of the the most beautiful Nilgiriis make me elated beyond Doddabetta’s height…May the sway of tall dignified trees, the tinkling water falls, the smiling colourful flowers and the hugging chill breeze shower wonderful and abundant blessings to you by laying a green carpet welcome by the tea plantations. God bless you..
Thank you ever so much for these kind words. If I could achieve a small percentage of what you have achieved [that has been recognised by all], then I am truly blessed. With the warmest of regards, JP
Rajamma of Kethorai village has made us proud once again. She won an award from the President of India.
Santhosh Kumar JB has sent the info and the link in ‘The Hindu’ and we have great pleasure in sharing the same with all Badagas.
It was not before the age of 15 that she was first taught the English alphabet. Now, 35 years later, she is a successful teacher in the same subject and is getting ready to leave for New Delhi to receive the Dr. Radhakrishnan Best Teacher Award from President Pratibha Devisingh Patil.
The fact that R.Rajammal is the first generation learner from her family may not be uncommon. But that she belongs to the Badagar community from remote Kethorai Village of Kethi Village Panchayat in Nilgiris District and has come thus far is an inspiring story. People travelling on the famous Nilgiri Mountain Railway might have noticed the Kethi railway station Coonoor and Udhagamandalam. Her native village Kethorai is a good five-kilometre trek from there.
Ms. Rajammal teaches English and Science to primary students at Kendriya Vidyalaya (II) at Madambakkam near Tambaram. Recognising her rise from modest backgrounds, her contribution to teaching and the Guides movement, the Ministry of Human Resource Development selected her for the prestigious award.
“I am the eldest among five children. I still remember the hardwork of my parents who toiled through the day in tea plantations and small farms raising vegetables,” Ms. Rajammal recalled her childhood days at Kethorai. Five decades back, education in remote hilly areas was scarce but Rajammal made the best of it, excelling in academics till high school.
Being a first generation learner did come in the way but having imbibed the quality of sheer hard work from her parents M.Ramachandran and R.Saraswathi, she never gave up. “We used to walk eight kilometers to high school and back home. It was not before class nine that we were first taught the English alphabet,” Ms. Rajammal said.
As those were the days of college education immediately after S.S.L.C., they had very little time to master English and when she joined Providence College, Coonoor, she found it even more difficult in the initial days. However, with the help of her teachers and classmates, she finished her B.Sc in Botany in high grades and came to Chennai, where she managed to get the job as a teacher at St. Michael’s Academy in Adyar.
Deputation to Moscow
Seven years later, she joined the Kendriya Vidyalaya. After a nation-wide test, she was selected to go on a three-year deputation to Moscow where she served the KV school there. A compere for programmes at INS Rajali in Arakkonam and also during passing out parades of Central Industrial Security Force establishments, Ms. Rajammal has earned popularity for her motivational speeches and also for her work among the underprivileged sections involving school students.
Her association with welfare homes for the senior citizens, destitute women and children had its origins in her childhood. “I visit my native village at least six times a year and spend a long time during the summer vacation. I insist on the importance of education and encourage young girls never to give up till they succeed in life,” Ms. Rajammal said.
Actively involved in the Girl Guides movement, Ms. Rajammal has received the NCERT Award in 2003 for Innovative Teaching Practices in Environmental Studies and the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghatan Incentive Award in 2008.
She wants to be a role model for rural women, especially among her Badagar community. Ever indebted to the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghatan for the exposure that she has received, she said that she would be only too glad to serve KVS even after her retirement.
She lives in Madambakkam and can be reached at 2229 2403 and 98413 57720. E-mail:
R. NELSON RAJKUMAR writes :
Dear Sister Rajammal,
These comments are after I called you over phone on 17.08.10. I read all the articles in The Hindu and I really appreciate you on your consistency for greater heights inspite of all the short comings in your early stage and congratulate you on your achievements. As I was born and brought up in Chamraj Estate which is via Kundha Bridge and studied in Kokkalada school till 12th STD (1974) I have my own love and affection on the Badaga Community. I visited my school in the year 1994 and presented a TV to the school. Again I visited the school many times and I took videos of the complete school, students, teachers and their class teachings, which gives me tremndous joy whenever I open my laptop to see them. Now I am settled in Chennai with my family and having my own Shipping and Cargo Clearing Company. Dr. Raman of ex-UPASI is my great admirer. My God bless you and your family more and more in the future.
Dear Madam,I met you accidently, but now I am blessed to have met you fortunately. Being a badaga person, as far as I know, no one in our community has reached a level like you. This is only because of your sincere and dedicated hard work towards your profession and to the society. I m really glad that I am one of your junior most students in the school in which you have started your small platform. It really encourages me, not only me madam, the entire community to take you as a role model for the young buds. Really proud to have met you in sulur KV along with my one of the school teacher (HM).
i really wonder if there could be a better motivation for a woman especially a Baduga woman….am seriously motivated…dint really know that i had such a motivator next to me…seriously proud…and you have made us all Proud…Thanku so much Aunty..i learnt much from u dis evening…and just as you wished ill be a support for all the people who actually needs it….ill help them break the shell in which they are bound….
Mam i am Afreen. we watched your thanthi tv programme.It is awesome. you are so great mam…
Dear Aunty, I always get nostalgic when I hear you name. I remember my childhood days when I was in my primary school at Chennai. I always come straight to you right after my school and spend my whole of the evening with studies and games. No wonder; my parents recognized and believed in your abilities to guide us in building our foundational skills than their own.
You were always selfless when it comes to your profession and these awards are proving the same.
Way to Go!
Rajammal Madam, A very distinctive individual whom I’ve ever met. She molds her students as makers of tomorrow by educating them with a social commitment. It was my pleasure and proud moments when I and Madam shared some social platform together. Starting with a professional relationship, now she is a mentor and had been with me to uplift me by words of encouragement at the most difficult times of my life. Her commitment to the social cause is unrivalled and never hesitates to lend a hand to people in needy. A honest, respectable and fighting person who always teach us to live a life which will be memorable and above all which gives us self-righteousness.
Madam, Proud to meet a person like you in my life, and when I say this I mean it from my heart,
Dear madam, hats of to you and your contribution and dedication towards our community. Till Friday ie 22-2-2013, I did not know about you,it is GODESS LAKSHMI SHOWN IN YOU.
Greetings.Thank you Mr.RajKumar for your kind words. You have taken up a wonderful task. I wish all the very best. Goddess Lakshmi be guiding you always.
Excellent work and proud to be a badaga
Hello, ma’am wishing you my hearty congratulations for winning an Award by President of our country. It’s really superb to hear it ma’am. I feel very proud to be a student of you for the past 5 yrs. I have no words to express my feelings ma’am. Your profile is awesome. Hats off you ma’am. You are the best motivator according to me, and my journey in SCOUTING AND GUIDING MOVEMENT took its path because of you. I wish you reach greater height with God’s grace, and shall your blessings reach all students of KENDRIYA VIDYALAYA NO:2.
Mam,it’s really awesome..Ii read your profile not only by myself but also along with my family members. Really superb….:) No words to express my feelings.Mam, you are really very good motivator..you’re the one who have inspired me a lot and my role model..you are my inspiration as well as my aspiration.I am very lucky enough to get a teacher like you.The whole school feels proud of you and the valuable services rendered by you to the society.Hats off mam!!!. I wish you to get many more awards…to our school mam! You are really very great.
Thank you Gaushini & shri. Being the teacher of students like you, I too feel equally proud.
God bless you.All the very best to you both – Rajma Mam
thank u mam ^_^
Accept my Heartiest Congratulations mam!The Best will always be recognised & it spreads all around!!!
The award brings honour and opens the door of success! Wishing you many congratulations on receiving the award from president of India. When it comes to teaching no one can compete with you.Really very proud of you mam.you are a woman of wisdom knowledge courage and lot more things and a perfect role model for us:) Every single word that you speak has a great meaning and value. Really hats off and proud to be your student.
My dear women of “Punctuality” I want to see you,Mam! you are one man army of K.V, you are the light of my life.I am very proud to be your student.I want to become like you in my future. Hope I will see you soon. Please remember me in your prayer. “WISH YOU ADVANCE HAPPY DIWALI” :):)
My lovely angel afreen,
Thanx for your loving comments. You are a brilliant student and the brightest ray of hope for glorious Mother India . My deputation at KV, Neyveli for six months had introduced wonderful gems like you. You will certainly grow and glow in your life. Sky is your limit. I would certainly remember you in my prayers.Love you loads.God bless you. Hope we will meet soon. I am longing to see your countless prizes and certificates you had bagged in various competitions.All the very best to you my dear. KV products rock always in all ways. You are the leading star.
aaww ! That is my teacher; hats off ma’am. you are just awesome. God has helped you and blessed you ma’am, it will continue , God help you always ma’am; you have made India proud , kv 2 proud and of course Ooty & your family mainly. congrats ma’am 🙂
It was so inspiring to read your profile…!!! proud to be your student mam…!!!you have made kv2 proud by rendering your service to us…!!!continue doing your magics forever mam..!!!! always here to support you.. All the best mam…!!!
Hearty Congratulations to you for having received the President’s Excellence Award. I feel proud for being one of your sons, aunty. I know your journey is never stopped here aunty, MY Best wishes for your future success. Take care
It was a wonderful time reading your profile..will ask all my friends to go through this..Its a nice chance to know your history mam..
I’m so proud to be your student..KV-2 rocks because of you..
We are always here to support your services mam..!!
Congrats Madam. Its a pleasure to have known u from KVA about 27 years back. I value association and teaching with you.
Dear Saravanan, Thanks for your good words.
Hearty congratulations.Today’s Get-together of Alumni KV Aruvankadu 2012 was simply superb. Within a very short span you had organised a wonderful programme. If Life is nothing but a bunch of memories, this day’s memory will be rare like the Kurinji flower of Queen of hills.Hats off to your team.I am proud of my KVA students. God Bless. Jai Ho..! – Rajma mam
.Dear madam, Congrats, really great. Though you were not my teacher I still admired you. It was a treat for me who is staying away from AVK. Enjoyed reading and seeing. Hoping to see you when I come there. where are you at present?
Ma’am/ma,these are the words which you taught me..! neengha sonnathaiyum neengha kathu kuduthathaiyum ungalukke samarpikkirein..
Hello maam/maa… I am proud to be your student.. the days when I was put up in a school where no one ever knows my language all I found was Hindi Hindi and Hindi.. You came IN to save me and help me.. now I stand still with my head held high, in MUMBAI.. managing with the Hindi that you first taught me..Proud to be your student maam.
Really its amazing and inspirational. We all admired on your emotional talk at the Function at Coonoor School. Hats of to you on your service to the society and young children. Our hearty Congratulations to you for winning best teacher award from the President. It is one more sparkling feather on your Crown. We pray the almighty to bring all your dreams come true.
Warm regards, R.Saradha, D/o.Mr.M.Rajamanickam, Coimbatore
Dear senthil, nice to see your words…This gratitude of yours towards ur teacher would certainly take you to great heights in life. God bless you my dear. With loads of love – Mam / Ma
hello kanchana, nice to here from you.. we are from the same hatti and relatives too. take care .. study well
Hi aunty, How are you and prithvi ? I’m d/o kumar (kethorai bus conductor)…. Iam proud to show your photo and to say you aer my relative.
I wish you all the success in future and congrats you for your achivement.. I am proud that I too studied in the school where you studied.
proud of you mother 🙂
Hi Aunty,this is Deepak from Hyderabad (s\o Ayyappan,Kethorai). My hearty congrats to you on winning the prestegious award. When ever i’ve talked with you, i used to wonder thinking of your knowledge in various fields. As Ganesh anna said, you deserve this award and wish you all success.My advance wishes to win more awards in future.
Hello Akka this message is from Ganesh,Sharmi,Samith and Aarav from California. We congratulate you from our heart for your splendid success!!! You deserve your splendid success.
I know your journey is never stopped here and never will, Best wishes for your future success.
Hearty congratulations to Ms. Rajammal for this prestigious award, we all (badagas) are very proud of you and god bless you and your family.
On Ms.Rajammal from Kethorai winning best teacher award from the President
Hi Akka, This from your brother (First Son) Ramamchandran Krishnan, Mrs.Umavathi Krishnan and Janaki Krishnan, friends at Kuwait and at Back home from Amma, Yogesh krishnan, Aswini Kannan, Archana Kannan and everyone from Kethorai Village, al our family members and Badaga community, we all are very proud about you for the greatest achievement in your life, as memntioned by R. Nelson ‘inspite of all the short comings in your life you have proved your worthiness.
Akka, we tried very hard to reach you in Delhi by mobile from Kuwait on 4th and 5th September (during the award ceremony) but we failed. Hope we can talk to you soon.
I am quite sure Appa’s Athma is very happy and he is blessing you from the heaven, but just for a while I thought if he is with us now, then in what a manner he would have expressed his happiness.
Hearty Congratulations to you for having received the President’s Excellence Award for 2010. I feel proud for being one of your student from Kendriya Vidyalaya Aruvankadu and “especially being your nephew.”
May God Bless You to achieve great milestones.
Respected maam.. was delighted to see a teacher like you from a struggling background receiving an award from the president. You are a true Inspiration!
Kudos ! and Hearty congratulations to Mrs Rajamma for this wonderful achievement, which in turn, will inspire other women of our community to scale greater heights.
Dear Sister Rajammal,
This comments are after I called you over phone on 17.08.10. I read all the articles in The Hindu and I really appreciate you on your consistency for greater heights inspite of all the short comings in your early stage and congratulate you on your achievements. As I was born and brought up in Chamraj Estate which is via Kundha Bridge and studied in Kokkalada school till 12th STD (1974) I have my own love and affection on the Badaga Community. I visited my school in the year 1994 and presented a TV to the school. Again I visited the school many times and I took videos of the complete school, students, teachers and their class teachings, which gives me tremndous joy whenever I open my laptop to see them. Now I am settled in Chennai with my family and having my own Shipping and Cargo Clearing Company. Dr. Raman of ex-UPASI is my great admirer. My God bless you and your family more and more in the future.