Award Name : Padma Bhushan
Year of Award : 2009
Award for : Social Work
Location : Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Sarojini Varadappan was a noted social worker from Tamil Nadu. She has been associated with Indian freedom struggle movement and is also known as a social activist. Sarojini was born in Madras on September 21, 1921 to former Chief Minister of Madras, Bhaktavatsalam and Gnanasundarambal. She did her schooling at Lady Sivaswami Girls School and discontinued her studies after class 9. Her education was stopped in the middle as she belonged to a conservative family. However she continued her Hindi tuition studies. During her youth days, she got associated with Indian National Congress and the Congress Seva Dal. She married her cousin Varadappan at a younger age. But she was able to resume her studies after marriage. She completed her Master's in political science from Mysore University through correspondence and also completed M. A. in Vaishnavism from Madras University. At the age of 80, she took Ph.D for her thesis on "Social Service and the Swami Narayan Movement.
Sarojini learnt classical music and Kshetragnapadams and Tamil padams and used to recite prayer songs at Congress meetings. She was a member of Indian Red Cross Society for over 35 years and has also served as its President. Sarojini has also served as the President of the WIA and Mylapore Academy. For her social services, Sarojini was awardedthe Padma Shri in 1973 and Padma Bhushan in 2009. She was also a recipient of Jankidevi Bajaj award for the year 2004. She died in Chennai on 17 October 2013 aged 92.