80th Anniversary of Saiva Mangaiyar Kalagam
By Mrs. Laxmi Senthilnathan

The Saiva Mangaiyar Kalagam celebrated its treasured 80th Anniversary under the patronage of Member of Parliament, Colombo district Mr. Prabha Ganesan on Saturday December 11 at Kalagam hall, 23 Rudra Mawatha, Wellawatte, Colombo 6.

In fact, throughout the 80 years of its existence the Saiva Mangaiyar Kalagam has been in the forefront of efforts to foster Hinduism and promote Tamil culture among the Hindu women in Colombo. Its record of achievement is a proud one in which the Kalagam can take a legitimate pride.

Further " Saiva Mangaiyar Kalagam" was established on December 10, 1930 with the blessings of Srimath Swami Vipulananda by three woman namely Nageshwary Sornacanthy Nallainathan, Balambikai Namasivayam and Rasamuthu Sathasivam. Mrs. Nallainathan who was one of the triad of the architects who founded the Kalagam was secretary from its inception to 1933 and again from 1943 up to the time of her untimely death in September 1960. She was the first head mistress of Saiva Mangaiyar Vidyalayam when it was founded in 1932 and acted as its Manager.

Mrs. Nallinathan was educated throughout at St. Bridget's Convent and was the first woman to win a scholarship to enter the university in 1922. After her marriage, she joined the staff of Ramanathan College in 1924 and founded Saiva Mangayar Sabai along with lady Ramanathan and a few others. The next year, under the leadership of lady Bertram, the Jaffna women's health association was formed and Mrs. Nallainathan was one of the organizing founder members who read a paper "The work before us" at the inaugural meeting held at " Mission House"

Back again in Colombo, she was actively interested in the welfare of community when her husband Dr. Nallainathan was president of the western province youth congress. Mrs. Rasamuthu Sathasivam who was one of the architects who founded the Kalagam was its president in 1934 and held that office till 1937 and again from 1941 up to the time of her death in 1962. She was the president of the Kalagam and manager of the Vidyalayam.

The present president of Saiva Mangaiyar Kalagam and manager of Saiva Mangaiyar Vidyalayam Mrs. Sivanandini Duraiswamy is indeed an extraordinary woman of wisdom, character, culture, ability and leadership. She pilots the affairs of the Kalagam and Vidyalayam with distinction, indefatigable energy, undaunted determination, unimpeachable integrity, fairness, total dedication and commitment.
In fact, Sivanandini Duraisamy's greatness is unique. There is a ring of authenticity and nobility of courage and earnestness in whatever she does. She is constantly pragmatic and practical in her approach to the problem of the vidyalayam.

Further, the main objectives of Saiva Mangaiyar Kalagam(Hindu women's society) are to foster the study and encourage the practice of Hinduism and to run a Hindu school to promote culture and scholarship among the Tamils, to foster carnatic music and bharatha natya, and conduct lectures in Tamil.
The kalagam in keeping with its objectives started several institutions at different times.

Saiva Mangaiyar Vidyalayam (Hindu Ladies' College) was founded in 1932, school for caranatic music and bharatha natyam was founded in 1945, Nursery school in 1954, Sivananda Nilayam in 1960, mangaiyar illam in 1972, Balambigai Namasivayagam working women's hostel in 1984, vocational training centre for school leavers in computer studies in 1990, Mangaiyar yoga centre was started in 1994 with the association of the Vivekananda Kalagam, Bangalore, a Home for Elders in 1994, prize award scheme in 1995, Mangaiyar SHAAKA programme in 1995, foster parents scheme in April 2000, Residential programme for backward villages in Puttalam, Mattagama, Badulla, Passara, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Ratnapura, Trincomalee, Kegalle, Moneragala, Ampara, Potuvil, Avissawela, Pusellwa and Batticaloa districts have been selected where training teachers teaching in the araneri schools are conducted as residential programmes. These are jointly conducted with the Hindu council of Sri Lanka, relief work to the displaced people of the war in the Vanni, multi media room for vidyalayam. Furthermore the Saiva Mangiyar Kalagam also has embarked on humanitarian works extending its caring service to refugee families in the Vanni and Batticaloa areas.

Indeed, the commemoration of Saiva Mangaiyar Kalagam's 80th anniversary fills us with righteous pride and pleasure. It is indeed, a timely, well deserved and beautiful gesture and we have to congratulate the president Mrs. S. Duraiswamy and committee of management of the Saiva Mangaiyar Kalagam for making elaborate arrangements for the success of this 80th anniversary celebrations.

At this instance, Mrs. P. Gajendradas principal of Saiva Mangaiyar Vidyalayam (Hindu ladies college) should be highly commended for piloting the affairs of the vidyalayam with total dedications and commitment. She is an embodiment of discipline and maintains high degree of discipline. In fact Miss. Maithily Sivapathasundram obtained highest marks in the G. C. E. (A/L) examination last year in the Bio- Stream and has been placed first in the whole island.

She has not only brought name and fame for the vidyalayam but she had put Saiva mangaiyar vidiyalayam on the world map.

Indeed, the flame of wisdom and brilliance imparted to the students at Saiva Mangaiyar Vidyalayam will permeate one's very being and make one shine to dispel the gloom of poverty and ignorance. On this great and glorious celebrations of the 80th anniversary of " Saiva Managiyar Kalagam" let us remember with gratitude the founders of the Kalagam and also the commitment of the past and present principals, teachers of Saiva Mangaiyar Vidyalayam (Hindu Ladies' College) who have elevated this college to pristine position in the island and given her fame, name, glory and global dimension.

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