Tamil Nadu: 23-year-old tribal woman from backward hills becomes Civil Judge

Travelling over 200 kilometers from her remote mountain village to Chennai, she wrote her selection exams in November 2023, right after delivering a baby.

Khushboo Joshi
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23-year-old Sripathi, hailing from Puliyur village near Jawadhu hills in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvannamalai district, has achieved the extraordinary milestone of becoming a civil judge.

Sripathi's journey towards achieving her goal was not without challenges. Travelling over 200 kilometers from her remote mountain village to Chennai, she wrote her selection exams in November 2023. What makes her achievement even more remarkable is the fact that she undertook this significant endeavor immediately after delivering her baby.

Chief Minister MK Stalin has rightfully applauded Sripathi's exceptional achievement, recognizing her as a beacon of hope and inspiration for the tribal community and women across Tamil Nadu. Her picture, holding her baby girl in front of the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission office, symbolizes her triumph over adversity and celebrates her identity as a tribal woman.

Stalin's acknowledgment of Sripathi's accomplishment reflects the government's commitment to promoting social justice and empowering marginalized communities. The "Dravidian Model" introduced by the DMK government prioritizes Tamil-medium students in government jobs, providing opportunities for individuals like Sripathi to excel and contribute to society.

While Sripathi and her family have chosen to remain silent amid the flurry of attention, their story has captured the imagination of the public and inspired countless individuals, especially those from marginalized backgrounds. The outpouring of support and celebration from the tribal community in Jawadhu Hills serves as a testament to Sripathi's significance as a trailblazer and role model.

Although some reports claim that Sripathi is the first tribal woman to become a civil judge in the state, this information remains unverified. Nevertheless, her achievement is a testament to her perseverance and the support she received from her family, friends, and mentors.

Mahalakshmi, a teacher who played a pivotal role in guiding Sripathi through the selection process, aptly describes her journey as being akin to "a parachute fitted to Sripathi’s wings." This analogy encapsulates the collective effort and support that propelled Sripathi towards her dreams.

Udhayanidhi Stalin, the state sports minister and DMK’s youth wing leader, rightly acknowledged Sripathi's determination and courage in undertaking the exam just two days after giving birth. Her story serves as a reminder of the power of resilience and the transformative potential of education and opportunity.