Category Archives: badaga

First Badaga Woman in the Indian Army !

The First Badaga Woman, who joined Indian Army, is Cathrine Nirmala, D/o Indrani George from Kombukorai, Ketti, way back in 2009.

She was commissioned as an officer from Officers Training Academy, Chennai in 2009. She is a Senior Officer in the Army now.

Cathrine is married and has two children named Shana and Francis Xavier. She studied in St Anns Girls Higher Secondary School and then did her B.E (computer science) from Nachimuthu Engg College, Erode. She is a martial art champion(karate black belt) and attended tournaments in Nilgiris and Coimbatore during her school days. Her father died when she was 13 years old.

Officer Cathrine says “My mother is a role model and a inspiration to me. She was a very bold lady and groomed me very well knowing my talents.She supported me whenever I took a decision about my life. She passed away in 2021”.

Lt Col Cathrine Nirmala

We are very proud of you, Cathrine Nirmala !

Remembering Mother

Remembering Our Mother – Mrs.Idyammal Bellie Gowder on her tenth death anniversary

Idyammal Bellie Gowder

You were everything for us in all those glorious 99 years and 10 months when you were ‘here’.

As we were preparing to celebrate the ‘century’, you chose to leave this earth just a couple of months earlier…

How time flies!

Elle idhale’yu engava harachu

[Bless us all from where ever you are]

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Idyammal Bellie Gowder
BornSeptember 02, 1912
Hubbathalai, The Nilgiris
DiedJuly 13, 2011 (aged 99 years 10 months)
ParentsRao Bahadur HJ Bellie Gowder and Nanji Hethe
Sister ofRao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder
SpouseB.K.Bellie Gowder [Bearhatti]

[Autographed pencil sketch of Mom by JP in 1968 while she was reading an issue of Femina ]

“I know my mother looks much older than what she is but those wrinkles have the charm of their own. They indicate the signs of her great endurance; and the hard life she has to lead through to bring her children to lead a life that is respected and regarded by others” – JP (24 Jan 68)

Dear Hands

[Grace Noll Crowell]

My mother’s hands were beautiful,
They are not always smooth and white
They were so busy making dull
And lusterless things clean and bright.

They reached so often to caress
A hurt child crying in the night
They moved as quick as fluttering birds
Among the cups and spoons at tea

They did a thousand lovely things
And did them all so graciously
There is no way to sum them up
The countless things she did for us.

[photo of Idy Hethe’s hand by her grandson Abhimanyu Ari Jayaprakash -2010]

Remembering mother –

Mrs. Radha Gowdu

and

Wg Cdr Bellie Jayaprakash & Mrs. Tara Jayaprakash

Son-in-Law Dr. K.M.Raju M.B.B.S,

Daughters-in-law Mrs. Alamelu Ramamoorthy & Mrs. Saroja Chandramohan

grand children and great grand children

Remembering Ari Gowder

H B Ari Gowder

On this 53rd death anniversary, we gratefully remember, H.B. Ari Gowder, a great Nakku Betta Leader, for all that he has done for the society and the reforms he brought into Badaga Community..

WINFORD, a house with a beautiful view, in Coonoor for SALE !

WINFORD, with a house with beautiful view, in Coonoor for SALE !

One of the best located house in an area of 16 cents, very close to Bedford Circle, in Upper Coonoor, is for sale. Sale of ONLY vacant land of about 7 cents, without the house, can also be considered.

Adjacent to ‘All Saints Church’ and ‘Indco Serve’, two minutes away from Coonoor – Kotagiri main road. Very close to Taj Garden Hotel, Vivek Hotel & Namkem Hospital. Ideal for residence/guest house.

www.winfordcoonoor.wordpress.com

Owned by an enterprising Badaga lady, wife of a Veteran Army Officer.

Contact : +919740852202 or 9486631864 (Whatsapp Messages preferred)

Brokers, please excuse!

First Badaga Woman Naval Officer

Meera

Meera daughter of Ravindran from Achenekal Village is the First Badaga Woman to have become an officer in the Indian Navy. She passed out of Indian Naval Academy on 28 May 2022. (pix)

We are proud of you Meera !

Senior Badaga members meet the CM

On 20 May 2022, Ganesh Ramalingam(HR Professional, Leadership Mentor & Social Service and Senior members from Badaga Community – Prof.TM Kullan (86), Retd Principal, Govt. Collegiate Service, Mr. S Raman (91), Retd. Government School Head Master, Mr. T Ramakrishnan (78), Retd HPF & Spiritual Service and Mr. R Yogesh Retd. Banker & Author of Badaga Bare(y) met the Honourable Chief Minister of TN at Ooty for the following causes;

1.Listing the Badaga Community under Linguistic Minority as their language Badaga is officially categorised as one of the Definitely Endangered Languages in the word.

2. Reiteration on the ST STATUS – Follow Up Action with the Central Government. (Ganesh Ramalingam is also personally following up with the Central Government Authorities on ST Status for Badagas).

Proud of you, H S Moorthy !

(Kunna) Hubbathalai Subban Moorthy is a differently abled person.

HS Moorthy, the Indian Coach of Table Tennis Team, who has just returned from Deaflympics Brazil 2022. Indian Team lost in the third round. The Indian Contingent met PM Modi on 21 May 2022.

HS Moorthy is deaf and dumb. When he was 3 years old he lost his speech and could not walk. His father, popularly known as Malaysia Subban, since he had stayed in Malaysia for many years, was in Southern Railways, Chennai. Moorthy was admitted at Little Flower Convent for deaf and dumb. He completed 5th STD and then was shifted to St.Louis institute for deaf and blind, Chennai where he completed 11th Std & got experience in Printing Press.

There after he joined HPF, Ooty and got prizes in the All India Public Sectors Sports for many years. While he was in HPF, he was selected as a best Industrial worker and got prize from then Governor of Tamil Nadu Sri. Kurana.

 HS Moorthy represented Tamil Nadu State many times in the National Sports championship for deaf in Table Tennis .

He represented India in Olympics for deaf in Table Tennis held in Nepal and Bangkok 

During 2017 he attended the Olympic for deaf in Table tennis as Indian team coach at Turkey 

Recently Sports Authority of India (New Delhi) has chosen HS Moorthy as a Selector to pick up the Indian Table Tennis team to participate in the Olympics for deaf to be held at Brazil from 30-04-2022 to15-05-2022. He has been selected as the coach for Indian Table tennis team, also .

Selected players from Tamilnadu and Moorthy were honoured by Tamil Nadu Chief minister Sri. MK Stalin in his office.

Presently HS Moorthy is in New Delhi giving coaching to the table tennis team upto 29-04-2022. The Indian team will be leaving for Brazil on 30-04-2022. Olympics for deaf will be held at Brazil from 01-05-2022 to15-05-2022. 

HS Moorthy is married to a lady from Yedapalli Village and blessed with a son and daughter. Son, from IIM Lucnow, is a Senior Manager (HR) in Brigade Construction Enterprise Ltd, Bengaluru and daughter is a teacher in Chaitanya School, Coimbatore.

At present he is working as Table Tennis coach in River Side public school Kotagiri.

Hubbathalai Subban Moorthy, you have proved that physical disabilities are no impediments for achieving higher goals in life.

We are proud of you, Moorthy!

(Information – Kind courtesy H Subban Mani, brother of HS Moorthy)

Badaga Day

Badaga Day (15th May 2022)

Greetings to all Badagas. Proud to be an Indian: Proud to be a Badaga

May 15th is celebrated as Badaga day, every year. Many may not be aware that this has been done from 1993 onwards. The Porangadu Seeme (Mainly Kotagiri Area) has been celebrating this day as ‘Ari Gowder Day’ also, in honour of Rao Bahadur H B Ari Gowder of Hubbathalai [See the link Great Badagas] who had done a lot for the Badaga Community, at Nattakal ‘Naakku Betta Koottu Hane’ (Naakku Betta Meeting Ground) which had seen many historic Badaga gatherings for over 100 years. Nattakal is near Kerben Village [near Kotagiri], on the main road from Coonoor.

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The Badaga Day, 15 May 2022, is being live telecast by Nakkubetta TV under the guidance of Ramakrishna

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(From the archieves)

Badaga Day – 15 May 2007

Badaga FlagMay 15th is celebrated as Badaga day, every year. Many may not be aware that this has been done from 1993 onwards. The Porangadu Seeme (Mainly Kotagiri Area) has been celebrating this day as ‘Ari Gowder Day’ also, in honour of Rao Bahadur H B Ari Gowder of Hubbathalai [See the link Great Badagas] who had done a lot for the Badaga Community, at Nattakal ‘Naakku Betta Koottu Hane’ (Naakku Betta Meeting Ground) which had seen many historic Badaga gatherings for over 80 years. Nattakal is near Kerben Village [near Kotagiri], on the main road from Coonoor.

Badaga Day – 15 May 2007

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Ari Gowder’s photo being garlanded, Porangadu Seeme Gowda Bheema Gowder addressing the gathering, Part of the crowd, Ari gowder’s daughter in law Mrs.Rukmani Bhojraj being honoured with a ‘ponnadai’ Shawl

While I was proud and honoured to attend the function this year, what saddened me is the fact that there seems no unity among the Badagas what with trivial and minor disputes resulting in boycott of this function by certain hattis at the behest of their ‘Gowdas’. I beleive, in the earlier years, this function attracted a lot of crowd. To add more dismay, there was a parallel Badagar Day celebrations at Ooty, organised by some self appointed Badaga leaders along with corrupt self serving and discredited politicians.

At Nattakal function, I was pleasantly surprised to see BADAGA FLAG being hoisted. Badaga Flag is completety white and I felt, it is appropriate that white colour has been chosen, as the same is totally identified with badagas [due to our dress] as well as HETHE AMMA etc.

In the function, many prominent Gowdas spoke and high lighted the contribution of Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder to our community.

It was also announced by the family of Ari Gowder (by his grand daughter Tara Jayaprakash & myself) that from next academic year onwards, three girls and three boys [from the Badagas] who get the first three positions in plus two exams will be given a cash incentive of Rs.3000,Rs.2000 & Rs.1000 each. This amount will be distributed during the next badaga day (in 2008) at Nattakal. Also, we announced that for the benefit of all those badagas who have to go to Mettupalayam and stay there due to sickness, can stay, along with their family members, in two houses located at ‘Ari Gowder Thottam’, Edayarpalayam road [near housing unit colony]. A nominal fee (to meet electrical & water charges etc) may be charged. The duration of stay could be from a couple of days to a few weeks. (For details please contact ; Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash at 8638677373 or 9486631864).

Towards the end of the function, a sad incident of an eye being removed from Maasi Hethai from Aravenu Village was revealed. It was mentioned that the doctors at an eye hospital at Coimbatore, due to their total neglect and callous attitude, removed her GOOD eye instead of the person lying in the next bed in the hospital. She produced photocopies of her stay and medical history. Her case was highlighted by Mrs.Indu K Mallah, Badaga activist who was also a member of the Nilgiri District Cosumer Court for five years. She strongly recommended that this case be taken up for suitable compensation by the concerned hospital.

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Maasi Hethe’s case being highlighted by Mrs.Indu K Mallah

The function concluded with lunch (briyani with pachadi) served to all those who attended the meeting.

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This function was covered by CTN Cable TV network . Incidentally, CTN has a lot of Badaga content in their programmes with songs, dances, serials etc. Hats off to them and do not miss their Badaga programmes if you are in their coverage area (Coonoor & Kotagiri surroundings).

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As announced, our offer of free accomodation  at Mettupalayam for looking after sick persons was utilised by [retired head constable] Bhoja Gowder from Horasolai Village for the benefit of his wife Lakshmi Ammal. After staying in Mettupalayam for a few months, he has taken her back to hatti on 12-02-08.

Incidentally, Bhoju [as I call him] is a famous football player and in his hay days represented Tamil Nadu Police.

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belliejayaprakash©2022

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Want to join the Indian Armed Forces?

(Info Courtesy – Ashok – ECHS, Wellington)

For complete info go here

Badagas & ‘the’ ST Status

I had written the following post in way back in 2016 – Wg Cdr Bellie Jayaprakash

Who are Badagas and what is their origin?

Badagas have been living in the Nilgiris [Naakku Betta – four mountains] for many, many centuries. Their origin, like that of Todas, Kothas or Kurumas, is still a mystery. With very distinct customs, culture and traditions, not to forget the language, what we know about Badagas is far less than what we do not know. But there is absolutely no doubt that, in my mind, that we are an indigenous tribe of the Nilgiris

Many, even among the Badagas, feel that calling ourselves as Tribal is demeaning. I equate these people with those who considered it below dignity to call themselves as Indians. I am a proud Indian and a proud Badaga. Both are ‘accidents’ of birth. Happy ones, at that.

Now, why do we need the status of ST? Is it only for the economic benefits that come with it?

If you compare with other tribes like Todas, Kothas and Kurumas in the Nilgiris, Badagas are far ahead in almost all the social factors. About two hundred years ago, all the hill  tribes of the Nilgiris, were, more or or less on the same ‘plane’. The drastic changes have occurred only in the last hundred odd years when education was given the top priority by this community and girl child was given importance, even if it was not an equal one.

Even poor and daily wage earning Badagas ensure, at least a majority of them, that their wards get educated that too in an English medium school.

The ST status is required not to compare/compete with other tribes but to get the best of education in prime institutes like IITs. Basically being intelligent, Badagas can easily get admissions with some ‘push’, available to ‘STs’. Same would be true for clearing the UPSC examinations. Had there been this ST status granted earlier, there could have been a dozen or so Badaga IAS officers by now.

Secondly, Nilgiris is the only place which Badagas can claim to be their native place. The Nilgiris (district) has only one parliamentary constituency and alas, that one is RESERVED. Meaning Badagas cannot contest as long as this ‘reservation’ remains. Effectively putting a stop to the political ambition of the natives of the land. ST status eliminates this anomaly.

With the tea leaf prices crashing to all time low, Badagas have lost the main source of their economic independence. Added to this is the difficulties in farming or growing vegetables and other cash crops due to the ‘free roaming’ Bisons, elusive wild boars and destructive monkeys. With no industries worth the name located in the Nilgiris, educated Badaga Youth has to seek jobs in the plains. I know of many Badagas who have sold their small land holdings and settled in the plains.

Not that all the Badagas are in highly paid jobs. Many work on daily wage basis. Even in the plains like Coimbatore or Tripur, many work as servers in hotels or as Nurses/aayas in hospitals.

So, ST status helps economically too.

Todas may not have fully benefited with the ST status economically, basically due to the fact that, majority of the community has been addicted to the liquor. The free flow of ‘daaru/drinks’ is the biggest curse for the mountain people. Unfortunately, the State Government has chosen to turn a blind eye and a generation has been destroyed. Though, Badagas too are ‘very liberal‘ with liquor, luckily there are many ‘teetotalers’ as a balancing factor.

ST status, in my opinion, will help the Badagas economically, educationally and politically and will definitely help in preserving the traditions and culture, the most noteworthy being the famous Badaga hospitality.

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There are a few devoted and dedicated Badagas who share the view that their Community should come under ST – Scheduled Tribe for many reasons.

They have carried out a relentless campaign to achieve the same. Lead by the energetic Prof.Kulla Gowder, for whom age is just a number.

Now, this group BADAGAS FOR ST is being guided by the future hope of Badagas Ganesh Ramalingam

A delegation of seven Badagas belonging to this great movement recently visited New Delhi to press the case for ST status for Badagas and met concerned Ministery officials cum Sign off Authorities – The Registrar General of India, Tribal Secretary of India, National Commission for Schduled Tribes.

I thank Ganesh Ramalingam for sending the following Status Report.

Ganesh Ramalingam
With Nanja Gowder – 94 years old, Bandimai Hatti Thudagui Ooru, Thodanaadu Seemae

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Badagas ST Status – A Brief of the Journey till now

The seventh member is the ever genial Raghu Joghee who always prefers to stand behind the camera
Raghu Joghee

Ganesh Ramalingam who is spear heading the movement:

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BADAGAS as ST – wrtten in 22/03/2019

Many Badagas are under the mistaken impression that if they are brought under the “Scheduled Tribe”, it is a degrading step. I do not think so. Badagas are one of the ‘ORIGINAL’ tribes of the Nilgiris along with Todas, Kothas and Kurumas.

The enormous improvements achieved by Badagas in all social factors, in spite of many impediments, should make us feel proud. This success is attributed to one SINGLE factor. Education. For that we must remember with gratitude the pioneer, visionary and philanthropist Rao Bahadur [Hubbathalai Jogi Gowder] Bellie Gowder who built the first FREE School in 1920s for Badagas – along with free hostel accommodation & Food in Hubbathalai and his son Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder who fore-saw that in educating a girl, indeed we are educating a family and hence insisted on education for girls and encouraged it fully.

To know more about Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder, considered the undisputed Nakku Betta Leader during his days, go to http://badaga-general.blogspot.com/2011/11/rao-bahadur-h-j-bellie-gowder.html

இந்தியர் என்று எழுந்து நிற்போம் , படகர் என்று நிமிர்ந்து நிற்போம்