Tulasi Munda: A social activist who worked to eradicate illiteracy

Tulasi Munde a social activist who worked to eradicate illiteracy, Inspirational success story, Tulasi Munde from orissa who worked to eradicate illiteracy, An eminent social activist – Tulasi Munde.

Tulasi Munda is an eminent social activist from Indian state of Orissa who has contributed her life to spread literacy among tribal people. A victim of child labour in her early days, Munda released hundred of tribal chidren, who were exploited as daily labourers by setting up a school in Odisha’s mining area. She was awarded Padma Shri in 2001 by Government of India. Popularly known as ”Tulasi Apa”, she changed lives of many by imparting education through her school.

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Let’s know more about her :

Early Life

Tulasi Munda was born on 15th July 1947, in Kainshi, Keonjhar. Keonjhar was one of the backward district of Odisha. At an early age she wanted to study but in Kainshi village, no one had idea of educating the girl child. At that time child labour, poverty and slavery were the main hindrances in girl education. At the age of 12 years she was sent to another village named Serenda to live with her sister. She worked in mines but whenever she got little time she used to taught herself from books. She worked as labourer in iron mines, cutting stones and shifting iron from the waste, for which she was paid Rs 2 per week.

Her works to reduce Illiteracy

During 1961, she came under the influence of great women like Malti Choudhary, Roma Devi and Nirmala Deshpande, who were well-known for their commitment towards educating women. She joined them and participated in their struggles in different parts of the country. She met Vinobha Bhave and was inspired by his vision and commitment to donate land and improve the lives of poor villages.
In 1964, she returned to Serenda Village and devoted herself to educate girl childs and women. At first she used to teach in Verandah of Serenda’s local pradhan. As the children went to work in day time she started evening classes.
But soon, her school began to take up more of her time as villagers who worked all day long, began sending their small children to Tulasi’s Verandah. Soon the Verandah got too small, so in 1966, she shifted her school to a plot of land with a shed outside the village.
Over the next 50 years, Tulasi helped establish 17 school and succeeded in edcating 20,000 boys and girls. At present, ‘Adivasi Vikas Samiti School’, set up by Tulasi Munda provides education upto 10th standard and enrolls over 500 students, more than half of them are girls.


For her great work, Tulasi Munda has recieved Padma Shri in year 2001 in recognition of her undying spirit and sheer determination in eradicating illiteracy. In 2011 Tulasi Munda won Odisha Living Legend Award for Excellence in Social service. She received Lakshmipat Singhania – IIM Lucknow National Leadership Award in the category of Community Service Leader Award at a function, in New Delhi on June 10, 2009.
Tulasi Munda believes that Illiteracy is the worst form of enslavement, it is the root cause of poverty, unemployment, drunkenness, superstition and fear. Education is the tool to free people’s mind from darkness of ignorance.

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