“If there has been one family that has rendered yeoman service to the field of education in Tamil Nadu, it has to be that of Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar. The family deserves appreciation from all quarters for their far-reaching contributions that have benefited countless citizens,” said former Madras High Court Judge, Justice S Jagadeeshan.
He was speaking at a function at the Rani Seethai Hall recently, where the Rani Lady Meyyammai Achi Birthday Commemoration and Sigapi Achi Birthday Commemoration Awards were presented. The recipients of the awards were chairman of the Cancer Institute, Adyar, Dr V Shanta, and Sivagnana Balaya Swamigal of the Tamil Arts and Science College, Mailam, for their extensive contributions to society. The function – which coincided with the 109th and 76th birth anniversaries of Rani Lady Meyyammai Achi and Sigapi Achi respectively – was organised by the Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar Memorial Trust. The awards presented to the duo comprised a cash prize of `2 lakh, a memento and a citation.
The former High Court judge noted how the setting up of the Annamalai University paved the way for affordable education to hordes of people from across the State and nation. “The development that the nation has experienced due to the education imparted to them is immeasurable. Be it schools or higher education, there is no sector that this family has not touched upon and made a positive contribution,” he detailed.
He had words of praise for Dr Shanta too, stating that the institute that she helms has helped change the perception of cancer – once considered the scourge of mankind – and touch the lives of millions who seek affordable cancer treatment. Also present on the occasion were business baron and grandson of Sir Rajah Annamalai Chettiar, M A M Ramaswamy, and former vice-principal of Fathima College, Madurai, Vishalakshi Subramaniam.