Meet Sripathi: A 23-year-old who takes pride by becoming Tamil Nadu's first judge from tribal community!

23-year-old woman Sripathi in Tamil Nadu has taken a pride by becoming the state's first judge from a tribal community. As Sripathi has become a trendsetter, she has been on a cloudnine and receiving praises and greetings from several leaders including Chief Minister MK Stalin. Expressing his commendation, the Chief Minister cited that Sripathi's success is the epitome of the Dravidian model government in the state. 

Sripathi is a native of Puliyur in the Tiruvannamalai district and belongs to a Malayali tribe of Jawadhu Hills. She was raised in Yelagiri and she appeared for the exams two days after giving birth. Though she got married at a young age, Sripathi had never her married life bleak her dream of pursuing education. Amidst the odds, Sripathi was supported by her mother and her husband had also stood with her. 

While she was preparing for the civil judge exam during her pregnancy, what came as a bolt from the blue was that the dates of delivery and exam were so close. Nevertheless, she decided to appear for the exam and two days after the delivery, Sripathi rushed to Chennai from her hometown and successfully made it. Furthermore, she triumphed the exam and is all set to become the first woman civil judge from a tribal community at a young age. 

Sripathi had traveled nearly 200 kilometres to Chennai and appeared for the TNPSC (Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission) exam for a civil judge in November 2023. Sripathi had cleared the law degree with an aim of providing legal aid for the people of her community. She is the eldest daughter of Kaliappan, a farmer, and Malliga, who is a domestic worker. 

According to reports, after completing her schooling at the St Charles Higher Secondary School in Athanavoor village, Sripathi pursued law at Dr Ambedkar Government Law College. She later married Venkatesan, who is an ambulance driver. She was preparing for the civil judge exam amidst her pregnancy and appeared for the exam two days after giving birth. 

Speaking to The New Indian Express, Sripathi's father Kaliappan said, "I am just a housekeeper. I have no words to express what I feel, I am very happy my daughter passed the examination." It is pertinent to note that in 2021, the Tamil Nadu government had issued a government order declaring that priority in government jobs will be given to those who obtained education in Tamil medium, first generation graduates and for those who lost both their parents to the COVID pandemic. 

Sripathi has been commended by several leaders across the state. Taking to social media, Chief Minister MK Stalin wrote, "I am happy to see that a tribal woman from an underprivileged village has achieved this feat at such a young age. I am proud to know that Sripathi has been selected as a judge through the order of our Dravidian Model government giving priority to those educated in Tamil in government jobs." The Chief Minister also said, "Success of people like Sripathi is the answer to those who are in Tamil Nadu without the heart to even utter the word social justice."