Mallikadavi Sellathambi

My Grandmother: A fighter, a warrior, and an Inspiration!  

Hi, my name is Akshaya Iynharran . I am an ordinary 12-year-old girl who loves to write and explore the world. I wrote this based on my grandma because I want every person, even you! To know my grandma: Mallikadavi. She was a fighter, a strong woman, and made sacrifices. Most importantly, she was an inspiration to me and all of us! I love history because every word, person, place, there is always something to explore behind it! It teaches me how all these strong women became before me: fought their rights, sacrificed, and fought tears. I am standing here because of all the women who came before me. What does this quote mean to you…

“I’m here today because of the women who came before me”  

Kamala Harris

My grandmother’s name was Mallikadavi Sellathambi, born in (Panchi Pallai, Sri Lanka,) on the 24th of April 1954, growing up with 12 siblings and had the most beautiful, caring parents called: Sinnathurai & Laksmi. She had many favorite things to do, especially helping others. As she was the eldest daughter after her brother of 12 siblings, she was responsible to care for them, feeding them, and helping her mother. My grandmother’s family was poor, but their parents made sacrifices, like working hard or sacrificing their food for their beloved children. So Mallikadavi worked hard for her family, even waking up in the morning to earn some money then going to school. In her adulthood, she met my grandfather, who was called: Sellathambi. They did everything together! She loved her life, and she remembered that she would make the same sacrifices for her children. Malika was married to Sellathambi, my grandfather, on the 5th of June 1981. Even though they were poor, my grandparents worked especially hard for their six children: Vatani, Nitha, Kuga, Kanisu, Kema, and Parthi, to make ends meets. 

Malika had many jobs to get by for her family; she always wanted her children to have a good education; luckily enough, she and her husband worked hard to have a good education. My grandmother and grandfather built their house using their own hands! They always wanted their future home, but they knew they would have to work hard to achieve it! My grandmother loved her life, surrounded by her children. In 1982 she became a teacher in a local school in Pallai; everyone loved her as she was so helpful around the school! All the children would go to her house after school as she cooked the best delicious food ever and feed them but also giving up her food. Life was going great for her, but on the 23rd of July in 1983, disaster struck that would change her life forever! The Sri Lankan Civil War was a civil war in Sri Lanka from 1983 to 2009. Beginning on the 23rd of July 1983, there was an intermittent insurgency against the government by the Velupillai Prabhakaran-led Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers). The LTTE fought to create an independent Tamil state called Tamil Eelam in the north-east of the island due to the continuous discrimination and violent persecution against Sri Lankan Tamils by the Sinhalese-dominated Sri Lankan Government. My grandmother worried a lot, but she knew her family goes first before her. 

Life was extremely hard for her and her family when war was announced! Food supplies were shallow, and there was no education, as all the buildings were destroyed brutally! They had to live on coconut trees: eating them, making stuff out of palm trees to cups and pots from them to earn little money! She made many sacrifices for her husband and children: food to money, and even safety! She and her husband would risk their lives for their children and other families at night to go and search for water and food supplies! My grandmother feared for her children; she wanted her children to go to a safer place! In the year 2004, a relative from the Uk managed to contact my grandmother, saying that they can take some of her children to safety. Malikatavi had mixed emotions but was glad that her children would be safe, so she decided to give up her three eldest children. Unfortunately, in the year 2006, Mallikadavi with her family were looking for food supplies when they got back to their home; there was no home. She never thought this day would come! She looked around the destroyed house: picture frames smashed, trophies damaged, and other things. 

Mallikadavi had no choice left (separated from all the other family and with her son, daughter, and husband and were left no home, money, food, or shelter). Her village was in a warzone; they decided to flee to a different town as a family. As they walked away from their beloved home, they saw fire everywhere, bodies and everything around you destroyed from bomb explosions. However, every day they ran from one place to another, worried if they would survive the day. There was a nearby explosion in a family house, and no one survived, but luckily the five children survived. Mallikadavi saw them crying, covered in bruises and confused about what to do. In her heart, she knew that she had to help them, all of them! With a crowd of families and orphans following up to her, she knew that they would go first before her. She even gave up her food for all families and stayed up all night looking after the children and families if a bomb came. She worked hard nights and day, creating a big bunker for all the families to be safe. On the 11th of February 2009, Mallikadavi and the crowd searched for the food safely. Unfortunately, a soldier spotted them. He pointed the gun at the children and orphans, Mallikadavi pleaded for them to let go. But she knew that she would give up her life to anyone! Mallikadavi shouted at them: “not them, me!” Her children shouted and cried but she had to! Mallikadavi quickly told her children and everyone: “A sacrifice is part of life. No sacrifice. No victory! “The soldier fired, and the bullet hit my grandmother’s chest! Those were her last words. These children she has saved, are now working hard for their families in Canada; in different countries: UK, France, Germany, Italy and many more! 

Remembrance Day on February the 11th with the family

From this day, our family grew strong and knowing that my grandmother will be proud of us, and we will be proud of her, for all the things we went through as a family. Every year on the 11th of February, we get together and remember as a family. In Panchi Pallai, my grandfather and my family built her dream house from our hands in honor of her, and my family has created a well. This well is for people who do not have water, which is a huge problem in some areas in Sri Lanka, in her name near the place where she sacrificed her life for everyone. 

My family has created a well named after her, in Honour of her sacrificing her life. This well is near the place she died, tis wells helps some people who are struggling to afford water. Which is a huge problem in Sri Lanka.
My grandfather and my family helped built her dream house in memory of her.