Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

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Paying tribute to India’s freedom fighters

Sivagami Ammayar

Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu

September 11, 2023 to September 11, 2024

Sivagami Ammayar was born to Marimuthu Mudaliyar and Chinnathai in 1933 at Annasagaram village in Dharmapuri district. Sivagami Ammayar migrated to Malaysia with her family, where her father worked on a tea estate. She studied at Jai Hind Hindu Padasalai in Kuala Lumpur. She was inspired by Netaji Subash Chandra Bose’s speech and joined the Indian National Army in the ‘Balak Sena’ group for small boys and girls at the age of 11. She served as a caretaker and head of the social welfare hostel between 1942 and 1945. During that time, she did a street play titled "Veera Vanitha along with her brother Parantham and went from street to street, creating a desire for freedom among people and raising funds for the INA. Netaji was inspired by Sivagami Ammayar and asked her to come to Burma, but Sivagami refused to go to Burma. During the Second World War, Sivagami and her brother Paranthaman rescued people who were injured by bombs at Sarkar Camp. In 1943, British troops captured the Social Welfare Hostel and asked her to dance in front of British officials. But Sivagami Ammayar bravely refused to dance. In 1973, the then-Tamil Nadu government honoured her with the "Tyaga Chemmal" Award. In 1993, she was honoured by Dr. J. Jayalalitha, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.