Dr. Shanthi Varadarajan holds a doctorate in communicative English and is a Retd Professor& Head of the Dept of English, RBANM’s First Grade College. She has gone beyond the walls of her classroom to work in various capacities in the college such as women welfare adviser, coordinator for NAAC visits in college, editor of college magazine, UGC Add-on course coordinator, syllabus designer for communicative English, Chief examiner, paper setter and reviewer in Bangalore University etc, thus contributing value to her work through her empathetic, indulgent personality that has been widely acknowledged in her close academic circles.
While maintaining a good emotional rapport with her students, she urged them to stretch beyond the literature to explore real world social issues, examine the underlying politics intertwined and experiment innovative hypothetical methods, thus enabling them to experience the true philosophy of life.
Being a central figure in several activities gave her opportunities to interact with a diverse set of people, essentially girls from the economically underprivileged strata of society, most of them being first-generation learners who constantly encounter inconceivable challenges like drunken dads, mothers working as household maids to educate them, truant brothers, societal and familial compulsion to drop out of college because of economic reasons. As intriguing and baffling as they may have been, Dr. Shanthi realised that drastic measures needed to be taken to break their shackles and to emblaze new trails to strike a major transformation. Her endless discussions and encouragement contributed in a small manner, but it was an arrow in the dark and it left her wondering HOW, WHAT and WHO would stand up in the vanguard to combat these struggles with the strength it demanded.
Answers to some heart wrenching questions arise mystically in life and Dr. Shanthi found hers in the form of DURGA, in the form of her daughter, Priya. In her she sees a manifold, ‘vishwaroopa’ externalization of all her societal women centric commitments and in her, she sees the conviction driven spirit that transformation demands. Dr. Shanthi accepted her role in Durga with both her hands and is now an integral part of the movement.