|English woman Sarah Tucker,founder of Sarah Tucker College,|
Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu, .www.sarahtuckercollege.in
A preponderance of people of South India, in particular, Tamil Nadu may not be aware of the fact that the Sarah Tucker College of Palayamkottai town in Tirunelveli corporation of Tamil Nadu, holds the distinction of being the first college for women in south India, owing its inception to Ms.Sarah Tucker of England and her friends,
Present Kaniyakumari, Tirunelveli districts of Tamil Nadu and the southern districts of Kerala state became an ideal ground for the spread of Christianity in the region in the early centuries. Christianity was first introduced by St. Thomas in 52 AD on the coastal Malabar of Kerala. However, Christian missionary activities were on the increase in the 1800s in Tamil Nadu. As part of missionary work, Christian schools and college slowly came on a low key level in the initial stages.
In the Tirunelveli district, there arose a necessity to establish schools to impart education to the poor people. Established in 1865 by the Christian Missionary Society with four students at the time of its inception, now Sarah Tucker College for women is a post-graduate, autonomous institution (since 2007) of good repute offering numerous PG courses in many fields.
During the British Raj, European missionaries, both men and women came to India, for missionary work and to open up several Christian educational schools to impart knowledge to natives. The East India Company, in the early stages, allowed the missionary activities with certain restrictions. Names such as Christian Friedrich Schwartz (1726–1798), an Angelo-Saxon missionary settled at Thanjavur, TN, George Uglow Pope (1820–1908), Constantine Joseph Beschi, an Italian Jesuit priest, Sister Maria Teresalina Joaquina, a Spanish Catholic missionary to Kashmir (July 1918 - 27 to October 1947; who was murdered by invading Pakistani mercenaries), Isabella Thoburn (1840–1901) of the American Methodist Episcopal Church, best known for her establishment of educational institutions and missionary work in North India and a host of preachers made valid contribution in the field of education in India.
|Sarah Tucker College, Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu, .www.verityfilms.com|
One Sarah Tucker, though a physically challenged and confined to her room in England, her trust in Jesus Christ and zeal for missionary work never declined. Being a good writer, she wrote numerous articles on matters related to missionary works, charity an deeds of piety. She had very much limited mobility, but not her christian faith of love and care for other people which rather grew by leaps and bound. One among the volunteers to do service in India she never landed on the shores of India for the missionary work, but she had a soft corner for the Indian natives. Ms. Tucker used to read reports on the missionary activities going on in other countries as well. When Ms.Tucker read reports on Indian women and their physical and mental sufferings both at home and work places under various appalling conditions, she was very much saddened and their pathetic conditions very much affected her. She realized the root cause of problems in Indian women's suffering is their illiteracy, lack of education and motivation. Upon hearing that there was no proper women educational institution in southern India, she made up her mind to have a separate educational institution started to impart knowledge to Indian women. With a crusading spirit, she volunteered to get her vision fulfilled.
and enduring faith in god, raised funds for the proposed institution in India - a small school for training teachers for elementary schools in Tirunelveli District in south India. The small
institution became a High school and later was raised to a college 1895.
|Sarah Tucker College, Palayamkottai. nwww.edubilla.com|
Thus Sarah Tucker became an overseas fairy-like founder of a woman's institution in South India This institution was named after Ms.Sarah Tucker - a fitting tribute to her - whose inspiration and dedication, despite her being confined to England, was responsible for the founding of this first ever women's educational institution in S.India. Motto of the college is: "So run that ye may obtain the incorruptible crown"
'Service to people is service to God.'' This great, distinguished woman is absolutely a shining example of this ancient wheeze.