Born: September 5, 1944
Sudha Varghese, a champion of Gandhian philosophy and social transformation, stands as a living embodiment of the Gandhian principles of service, empowerment, and self-reliance. Born into a privileged family, she chose to follow her heart, leaving behind a life of comfort to serve the marginalized and dispossessed. Sudha Varghese’s journey of over six decades has been a profound testament to the transformative power of Gandhian ideals in shaping lives and communities.
Varghese's odyssey began in the 1960s when she encountered a magazine report highlighting the dire conditions faced by the impoverished in Bihar. Motivated by a deep-seated empathy, she answered the call to serve, arriving in Munger district with an unwavering resolve to uplift the downtrodden. Her presence in Bihar wasn't just a contribution to development; it was a commitment to live Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of being the change one wishes to see. The core of Varghese's work to uplift the Musahar community for self-reliance, revolves around education and empowerment. She recognized the potential for change within the Musahar community, especially among adolescent girls, whom she believed could catalyze transformation. Her innovative approach to education, with emphasis on nurturing self-sufficiency, included Prerna schools and alternative education centres. Varghese spearheaded initiatives that transcended traditional roles. Through skill training and agricultural programs, she steered Musahar women towards self-reliance. Her efforts paved the way for women to transcend their traditional roles, from being landless laborers to proud landowners and pioneers in unconventional fields. Nari Gunjan, has provided education to over 40,000 children and has engaged Musahar youth in sports, thus directing their energy away from negative influences.
Sudha Varghese’s journey of six decades has been a profound testament to the transformative power of Gandhian ideals in shaping lives and communities of the deprived.