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Yecha Gunja Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy (8 November 1925 – 6 August 2019), better known as Mrs YGP, was an Indian journalist, educationist and social worker. She was the founder and dean of the Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan.[1] Rajalakshmi was awarded the Padma Shri in 2010, India's fourth highest civil honour for her contribution to literature and education.

Mrs YGP
Native name
Yecha Gunja Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy
Born(1925-11-27)27 November 1925
Died6 August 2019(2019-08-06) (aged 93)
NationalityIndian
OccupationEducationist, journalist and social worker
Spouse(s)Y. G. Parthasarathy
ChildrenY. G. Mahendra
RelativesK. Balaji (brother)
T. Rangachari (grandfather)
AwardsPadma Shri

Contents

Personal lifeEdit

Rajalakshmi was born in Madras on 8 November 1925 into an affluent and educated family, the daughter of Burmah Shell employee R. Parthasarathy and his wife Alamelu Amma. Her father was the son of Indian independence activist, Dewan Bahadur T. Rangachari and her mother was a homemaker. Her brother K. Balaji was an actor and director in the Tamil film industry.[2]

Rajalakshmi studied at St. John's School and Holy Cross College, Madras and received a graduate degree in journalism from the University of Madras in 1947, at a time when few women in India undertook higher studies. She was the only woman in her class and the first woman in her family to graduate.[2] Later, she completed her M. Ed and acquired a master's degree in History from the University of Madras also.[2]

She was married to playwright Y. G. Parthasarathy, and they had two sons, Y. G. Rajendra and Y. G. Mahendra, a Tamil film and stage actor.[2] Rajalakshmi died in Chennai on 6 August 2019 at age 93 due to cardiac arrest and she was treated in Bharat KalacharShe was replaced by Mrs. Sheela Rajendran.[2]

CareerEdit

On completion of her graduation, Rajalakshmi worked as a journalist with The Hindu and Tamil-weekly Kumudam.[3] She, however, quit her job after marriage and started the school Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan in 1958.[2][3]

Padma Seshadri Bala BhavanEdit

In 1958, Rajalakshmi started a school with 13 students along with members of the Nungambakkam Ladies Recreation Club in a shed in the terrace of her house in Nungambakkam and named it Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan in deference to the wishes of one of its benefactors R. M. Seshadri who expressed his wish for the school to be named after his wife.[4] The next year, the school acquired its own building. In 1971, the school established its first branch, in Nungambakkam (which is also known as the main school). Since then, the school has grown manifold and in 2009, comprised five branches with over 8,000 students and 500 staff members. Rajalakshmi has been serving as the Dean and Director of the school since its inception in 1958. In 2010, it was reported to have more than 10,000 students.[5]

As Dean and Director of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan, Rajalakshmi is credited with having contributed to the education in India and setting quality standards.[4] She is also acclaimed for her contributions to the CBSE system.[4]

AwardsEdit

  • On 26 January 2010, Rajalakshmi was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civil honour for her contribution to literature and education.[6]
  • 'Achievement Medal for Leadership and Commitment to Excellence in Education' by the U.S-based Center for Excellence in Education.[2]
  • 'Vayoshreshtha Samman' award from the Government of India.[2]
  • 'Paul Harris Fellow Award' by the Rotary Club of Madras.[2]

WorksEdit

  • Excellence Beyond the Classroom: A Memoir of YGP. Frank Bros. & Company. 2004. ISBN 9788171706976.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Mathai, Kamini; Narayan, Pushpa. "Mrs YGP, founder of PSBB schools, dies in Chennai". The Times of India. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Educationist Mrs. YGP passes away". 6 August 2019 – via thehindu.com.
  3. ^ a b Bureau, Our. "Noted educationalist Mrs YGP passes away". @businessline. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "PSBB schools' achievements lauded". The Hindu. 22 August 2008.
  5. ^ "Educationist, PSBB founder mrs. YGP dies". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  6. ^ "130 persons chosen for Padma awards 2010". The Hindu. 26 January 2010.
  7. ^ Roshne Balasubramanian (31 December 2017). "92 years of a young rebel". New Indian Express.

Further readingEdit