The Great Harijan Leader of Kerala
Ayyankali was born on 14th Chingam, ME 1039 at Perunkattuvila in Venganoor in Trivandrum District. One among the seven children of a Pulaya family, he was illiterate. He married Chellamma of Manjamkuzhy Kottukal . Neyyattinkara. They had six sons and one daughter. At that time Harijans were not allowed to walk through public roads. Ayyankali organized healthy Harijans and fought against the un touchability. By 1900 Harijans got freedom to walk through public roads and by 1914 ,Harijan children were allowed to join schools. Harijan women got freedom to cover their chest, by the effort of Ayyankali. He formed "Sadujana Paripalana Sangom" in 1905.
Besides his Guru Thycaud Ayya Swamikal, Ayyankaili got support from Mahatma Ghandi, Mannathu Padmanabhan , Changanacherry Parameswaran Pillai, Sri Narayana Guru T.K. Madhavan etc for his activities. In 1937 Mahatma Ghandi visited Vanganoor. He described Ayyankali as "Pulaya Raja".
He was the third disciple of Ayya Swamikal. During the feasts of, thaipooyam Ayya served meals (traditional Travancore sadyas on plantain leaf) to Ayyankali along with Brahmins, members of upper castes and himself. Thus Ayya started "panthibhojans". On 13 th July 1909 Ayyankali met Ayya at Pazhavangad: "Kali, saukyam thana? Unnudaya photo Rajakkal vaikkapokiran.... Srimoolam sabhayilum unakku pokalam.." said Ayya.
Ayyankali , pioneered many social movements against castism. He set apart his life to achieve dignity of dalits, the right to use public roads, the freedom of dalit women to cover their torso, their education. Harijans were not permitted in public schools, so he started a school lin Venganoor especially for the dalits. He was nominated to the Sri Moolam Legislative Assembly of Travancore in 1910. The membership continued for 25 years.
Ayyankali died on 4th Midhunam 1116. He was cremated in front of the School he started. With leadership of T.T. Kesava Sasthry, his followers made the Ayyankali Chitrakoodam at that site. Chithira Thirunal inaugurated this. In November 1980, then Prime Minister Smty Indira Ghandi unveiled the statue of Ayyankali at Kawdiyar square,Trivandrum
1.THP. Chentharassery "Ayyankali"(Biography)
2.Mahadeva Desai-"Epic of Travancore"
3."Ayyankali"Viswa Vitjanakosam 1st Vol 1970 NBS Kottayam pages 531-32
4.Kattakkada Divakarn "Vizhinjam enna Rajadhani" Malayalam Varika 28 th June 2002
5.Brahmasrre Thycaud Ayya Swamikal-1997 (Ayya Mission, Thycaud)
LINK: http://expage.com/ayya http://santha3.tripod.com