Gourikutty Amma

Gourikutty Amma (1906 - 1987)

Kakkattu Gourikutty Amma, the founder of Sri Narayana English medium school at Saradagiri Varkala was born in an aristocratic Ezhava family in kayamkulam of central Travancore, Kerala. After graduating in physics, she joined the central government service in the Accountant General’s office Thiruvananthapuram. During her short service period, She took a lead role in the formation of Sree Narayana Vanitha Samajam in 1934. The Samajam is presently known as SNV women’s Association.

The women’s association provided a platform for women to engage in social and charity service. Responding to her inner call for charity work and empowerment of women, Gourikutty Amma resigned from the service and devoted her entire life for the upliftment of women, particularly from the lowest strata of the society.

Sri Narayana Vidyarthini Sadanam, a privately owned hostel for girl students started by Srimathi T. V. Narayani Amma in 1924 was handed over to Sri Narayana Vanitha Samajam in 1935. The activities of present SNV women's association expanded gradually encompassing students hostel, working women’s hostel in Thiruvananthapuram and an exclusive project for women empowerment at Saradagiri, Varkala.

Saradagiri Project

Named after the revered Sarada Devi of Sivagiri Mutt, the Saradagiri Project is the brainchild of Gourikutty Amma.

Conceived in 1966, the project aims at the socio-economic empowerment of poor women. After procuring 6.5 acres of land at Shardagiri adjacent to Sivagiri Mutt in 1968, she designed and executed income generating programs for poor women.

Production and Training units related to Tailoring, Pickle making, Curry powder and Bakery, Food Processing etc at Saradagiri may be considered as the forerunner of the modern Kudumbasree units of Kerala. To make the woman more self-reliant, a baby creche and nursery school were started to look after the children and educate them properly while the mothers are working. This need based arrangement was really a boon to the woman engaged in various production units at Saradagiri.

Considering the request of the general public at Varkala, an English medium nursery and primary school was also started at Saradagiri. By 1974, the following entities were fully operationalised.

  1. Nursery school (English and Malayalam medium)
  2. Lower primary English medium school
  3. Agathi Mandiram - catering to the old and destitute women
  4. Santi Bhavanam for old age women

The lower primary English medium school was later elevated to an English medium High school recognised by the Government of Kerala. The ownership and management of the school is vested with SNV women’s association, Thiruvananthapuram.