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Salma a beacon of hope for women in Tamil Nadu

Salma (A. Rokkaiah) is a writer of Tamil poetry and fiction. Her poems are critical of male domination and they reveal her alienation from a system she was forced to live in. Salma is the author of two books of poetry: Oru Maalaiyum Innoru Maalaiyum (An Evening and Another Evening) and Pachchai Devathai (Green Angel) and a novel Irandaam Jaamangalin Kathai (The Story of the Midnight). Her poems have been translated into Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam and English, and explore sensitive issues considered taboo for women to write on.
 
The moment Salma turned 13 her family debarred her from attending school and locked her away in a tiny room. But this did not stop her from finding scraps of paper to continue writing on. Her story is truly inspiring. From being locked away for several years and continuing to write, to contesting in the Panchayat Raj elections from her village Thuvarankurichi in 2001 where her posters were put up everywhere and she addressed many public meetings to running a NGO ‘Your Hope is Remaining’ that works towards women’s rights in Tamil Nadu.