Sri Kanyakumari Gurukula Ashram was founded by Mrs. V. Alamelu Ammal on August 25, 1952, in Kanyakumari. She was moved by the suffering of the most poor people, especially orphans and poor young children, for their care, maintenance and education. She decided to help the children. She started the service for the free total care of orphan children and most poor destitute children. She also helped most suffering destitute women and helpless aged people.
In the beginning, the society took into its shelter, besides orphan children, destitute and poor children, destitute women and the poor elderly. Very soon, it restricted its services to foundlings, orphan children and, homeless, destitute poor children.
The society functioned for over a decade in a large rented stone building, called Oottuperai, near the temple of Kanyakumari, which had been earlier used as a free feeding place by the Monarchy of Travancore. The society later moved on to own houses to provide total care for children admitted into its homes.
The society was donated a house in 1964. This became the first shelter and the registered office of the Society. Soon after, in 1967, the elite of Chennai raised funds which helped the society to buy land at Levenjipuram Village in Tirunelveli District. This is 11 km North of Kanyakumari. In 1974, the State Government granted aid to build cottages for children. With aid from Danida, Aktion Child Aid, Denmark and Emmaus, France, more cottages were built for boys and girls.
When she and her Guru set out on a pilgrimage and came to Kanyakumari on a visit in 1952, she started a home to care for the most needy, homeless poor, particularly children. The Mother and her guru were both 'Karma Yogis'. Which means that they did not want any thing for themselves and were totally selfless in their services to the poor. They did not want to own lands, buildings or things. They wanted only to serve the needy.
The mother and her guru had a clear vision and philosophy of what they had set out to do. Theirs was a new effort and the first of its kind and was child-centred. The system was based on the culture, tradition and the joint family system of India. The aim was to help the most poor and parentless children to grow up normally as in a natural family, as was possible in the ashram so that they could succeed in life when they left the ashram and live happily. They thought that the gurukula as well as ashram concepts are best suited for this service. A ‘guru kula’ means the house of a guru or the tradition of a guru. From ancient times, a gurukula has been a place where children go to live and study under a guru (preceptor/mentor). An ‘ashram’ is a place where people of any age can come and live, meditate and lead a peaceful, spiritual life. An ashram is also refered to as a house of peace.
From its inception, the ashram freely cared for poor, parentless and suffering infants and children, homeless, destitute women and the helpless, aged infirm. No discrimination was practised. All services including long term, total care of children, women and the aged were free of cost. Though there was a need to support children, women and the aged infirm, from the beginning, the ashram restricted itself mainly to the care of children.
In 1955, Mr. C. Sitharam, who also was a ‘Karma Yogi’, came to see the ashram and liked the work. At the Invitation of The Mother, he stayed to help for the next 30 years. Coming from a noble family in Andhra Pradesh, he was highly educated and spiritual. He led a very simple life and he guided the work of the ashram from the early stages. He shared in all the struggles and tribulations in the formative years and faced and surmounted difficulties, overcoming opposition in the early years from those who were not used to this concept of service which was wide and open to all needy people. He firmly and quietly set out principles, policies, methodologies and goals, and developed the ashram. Regarding the use of donations, he used to say that one must think and act as if they had ‘the eyes of the donors’. Today this is still honored. Under mother’s and Mr. Sitharam’s guidance and leadership, the ashram grew and developed. The ashram faced daily struggles for survival, but by God’s Blessings and due to the steadfastness and the purposefulness of the founder and her guru and the good support by donors, the ashram was able to continue its services....
From here SKGA has developed into its current form. Troughout the history of SKGA, donations of all kinds have been given by individuals, organisations, companies, etc.. Who warmly supported the great work in benefit of the needy children. If you want to read more about the history Click Here For Full History
After governmental registration of the Society (SKGA) 'The Board' also refered to as 'Managing Committee' was formed. From here two generations have past, and today the third generation is in function.
President and Chairman Mr. Saravana Panikkar, Secretary/Executive Head Mrs. V. Alamelu Ammal (The Mother), the rest of the Governing Body consisted of Mr. Kandasamy Nadar, Mr. Bagavathy Perumal Chettiar and several others from Nagercoil.
President and Chairman Mr. Sankara Iyer, Vice President Mr. Balakrishna Naidu, Secretary/Executive Head Mr. A. Sivaramakrishnan (Son of The Mother), the rest of the Governing Body consisted of serveral respected induviduals from Nagercoil.
President and Chairman Er. Mr. S. Augustine, Vice President Miss V. Vasantha Kumari, Secretary/Executive Head Er. Miss K. Subbammai, the rest of the Governing Body consists of Mr. A. Sivaramakrishnan, Dr. Miss A. Vera, Mrs. D. Rajam, Mr. A. Sami kannu.