Listening to music, little did I realise when I nodded off on the bus to Bijapur. A call from an unknown number woke me up but I was feeling too drowsy to answer. When the person called for a third time, I figured that I should answer. “Hello, I’m Shyamala from Spurthi Mahila Mandal,” came the voice from the other end. I immediately got back to my senses and apologized for not answering before. Shyamala’s warm voice with a tinge of concern went on to ask me where I’d reached and to not be anxious about safety since as it was almost dark. Her concern washed away my fatigue and even brought a smile to my face. I couldn’t help but think how this call was just an inkling about her personality and work..
It all started in the year 1981 when Ms. Shyamala Vardarajan, the founder of Spurthi Mahila Mandal (SMM) relocated to Bijapur from Chennai after marriage. With a Masters in Botany, she joined The Aided College in Bijapur as a professor. Shyamala was an active volunteer back in Chennai, always ready to get involved with social activities in her college days. She also worked for few institutions.