NIRMALA KUPPAN

Born in a dalit family but being brought up in many part of the country since her father was in army, completed school final and was brought back to her native village and was married to her cross cousin. She had three children when she attended the first workshop of GUIDE in 1985 and has stayed with GUIDE since then and has moved to the level assistant director. She is also the President of GUIDE now. “Personally, I have gained self confidence from the stage of someone who attempted suicide three times before being inducted into GUIDE”, says she, who had a habitual drunkard as husband.

ELLAMMAL

Being Dalit, Ellammal was able to complete 8th standard was a great achievement on those days. She is a crowd puller through her singing of Bharathiyar’s songs. Ellammal grew from being leader of her village women association into a federation leader at the district level. She had the opportunity to visit South Africa along with R. Vasantha

“I am what I am thanks to GUIDE and will remain a motivating leader till death”, says she.

PARANJOTHI ELLAPPAN

When GUIDE team first met Paranjothi, she was an 8th standard dropout from a Dalit family. With GUIDE’s motivation, she completed the school final privately and also became eventually a postgraduate. She had been a motivational point for many young women who have dropped out. Her speciality is running supplementary education and motivating adolescent girls and remains a spinster for that sake. She says, “I am thankful to GUIDE for making me what I am and I will make it a point to ensure motivating many more Dalit girls”.

 

KAMALA CHANDRU

Born in a Irula Adivasi family, reaching 8th standard was an achievement in her days. She married Chandru of his caste and remained a housewife until she met GUIDE team. Through the various leadership orientations, she moved to the level of leader of the Irula community women around and won the struggle of getting proper house for her community, which lives close to GUIDE campus.

“I am so happy to have met GUIDE team and my very way of talking, dressing and behaving changed due to them”, says she.

 

menaka

It was not surprising that being a normal Dalit family, Menaka had no formal education. But through being acquainted with GUIDE, she not only raised her ability to read and write, but also led the women’s association of her village and rose to the level of district federation leader.  She is so famous that in an MLA election she scored the highest among the independent candidates. She was a threat so much that the political parties wanted to buy her off to give up in the election.

“God is in my favour when I think of the opportunity to be exposed to GUIDE and I enjoy being a district leader thanks to them”, says she.

juliya jerosa

Though a Dalit, Juliya was able to graduate, thanks to the motivation of her parents, who were from a somewhat educated family. She has two children and was married to a habitual drunkard who eventually succumbed to alcohol. She was brought up in the Nilgiris hills and is a motivator among the tea plantation worker women in Valparai hills of Coimbatore district. She says “thanks to the motivation and capacity building I have received from GUIDE, I have now the confidence to negotiate with the tea estate managers and even sit across the district collector”.