“Rome was not built in a day and so was Sarah Tucker College”.
During the early decades of the 19th Century when the benefits of schools were reaped only by boys, Girls were prohibited to learn from male teachers. So if the lamp of learning were to be carried into the dark recesses of the Indian Villages and towns some acceptable method was to be devised. The Missionary Societies met the problem by appealing for women missionaries to come out to India and take up the task of educating their Indian Sisters.
Several women missionaries volunteered for service in India. The most important among them was ‘Sarah Tucker’, an invalid lady confined to her room, who was to become the far-off and almost fairy-like founder of the schools and college who so fittingly bear her name moved by reports about illiterate Women of India, she steeped in with a crusading spirit to provide schools for them. Seated at her desk, she wrote letters to her friends appealing for funds. Miss Sarah Tucker’s 24 Sovereigns came handy to open ‘ Tinnevelly Female Normal School’ in 1843. Miss Sarah Tucker died in December, 1857. But her friends raised funds to open a ‘Training School for Women’ at Palayamcottah.
The Sarah Tucker Institutions are to be remembered as the nursery of some pioneer institutions for the education of the handicapped in the whole of India. After three decades of resolute spadework, the Upper Primary Boarding School attached to the Training Institution was upgraded as the ‘Sarah Tucker High School;’ in 1890 with 5 Girl students. Miss Askwith had the Confidence and Courage to raise the Sarah Tucker High School to a Second Grade College and get it affiliated to the University of Madras in 1895 as the First College exclusively for women in the whole of India to the South of Lucknow.