Veera Mangai Velu Nachiyar IAS Scholarship Programme
January 3 is celebrated as the birth anniversary of VeluNachiyar, the 18th century queen from Sivagangai district of Tamil Nadu who fought against the British and recaptured her kingdom. She is widely known as the first queen to put up a resistance against the colonial power, even before the Rani of Jhansi.
VeluNachiyar was born in Ramnad to the royal couple MannarSellamuthuSethupathy and Sakandhimuthal in 1730 AD. VeluNachiyar did not have any brothers and she was brought up like a prince, trained in martial arts, horse riding, archery and handling different weapons. She was also educated in many languages including English, French and Urdu.
When VeluNachiyar was 16, she married SivagangaiMannarMuthuvaduganathur. The couple had a daughter named Vellachi. In 1772, the Nawab of Arcot and the British troops belonging to the East India Company united and invaded Sivagangai. They killed Muthuvadugananthur in a battle known as the KalaiyarKoil war.
VeluNachiyar and Vellachi escaped and lived in Dindugal with the help of the Maruthu brothers of Sivagangai and some other powerful friends. In the years that VeluNachiyar spent in Dindugal, she formed alliances and plotted her revenge against the British.
In 1780, she led the charge against her enemies with an army she had built along with the help of Sultan Hyder Ali of Mysore. She is also credited to have been the first person to use a human bomb – Kuyili, her loyal follower (and some say adoptive daughter), doused herself in oil/ghee and set herself aflame to blow up the ammunition of the British.
VeluNachiyar was successful in recapturing her kingdom and became the queen of Sivagangai once again. In her reign, she formed a women’s only army called Udaiyaal in memory of (another) her adoptive daughter who died in the battle against the British. VeluNachiyar ruled Sivagangai for more than 10 years before she died of an illness in 1796.
On July 18, 2014, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa inaugurated the VeeramangaiVeluNachiyar Memorial in Sivagangai and also declared that January 3 will be celebrated every year as her birth anniversary.
The objective of the Scheme is to provide financial support through fees Concession in Personal Guidance Program to the PH, wards of people working in unorganized sector, single parent child and Economically Backward candidates.
Conditions for scholarship
(a) To be eligible, students should have not less than 50% marks in the Under Graduate Degree Program.
(b) The annual income, from all sources, of the student’s parents or guardian should not exceed Rs. 1 lakh.
(c) Scholarship will not be given to more than one student in a family.
(d) 30% of scholarship will be earmarked for girl students. In case girl students are not available then the scholarship earmarked for them will be awarded to eligible boy students.