The magnificent and inspiring Padmabhushan Sri N. Ramaswami Ayyar educational complex near the river Cauvery, overlooking the Rockfort in the heart of Trichy is a monument to the tireless efforts of a crusader in the cause of women's education in this part of the country. Ramaswami Ayyar was a visionary. His mantra was education and at a time when society looked down upon giving women even primary education, he took on the challenge of opening a centre of learning for them, so that they could shoulder any responsibility and play a crucial role in the development of nation. The sprawling 30 acre marshy site, interspersed with paddy fields and narrow footpaths in the late thirties has today developed into one of the finest educational centre for women in the country, offering education from the primary to the research level to about 10,000 women students.

Born in an orthodox Hindu family with a deep attachment to Indian heritage and vedic culture, Ayyar took a degree in law and soon became a successful criminal lawyer.

He took a deep interest in local affairs and involved himself with the Discharged Prisoners Aid Society, the Red Cross Society and made a mark as a member of the District Flood Relief Committee after the town was devastated by perhaps the worst floods in the history of the river Cauvery in 1924.

The year 1938 was a turning point in Ayyar's life. He was approached by many people and informed of a girls' school in Andar Street, which had been languishing for long.

Ayyar who was influenced by Maharishi Karve, founder of the first women's university in the country, decided to take up the cause of women's education and thereafter there was no turning back. Savitri Vidyasala Hindu Girls' High School was inaugurated in 1938 by Sri. C. Rajagopalachari in a small building.

To the crusader the going was tough. He could not get adequate funds for realizing the dream of a large campus and spacious buildings easily. But he approached people from all walks of life for donations. Donations from the public, well-wishers flowed in. Ayyar donated all his property and money to the institution. Spurred by the enthusiastic public support and the demand for a women's college in the city, Ayyar established Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College for women in 1951.

The challenge of establishing the college brought out the tremendous determination of the founder, who was then 51 years old. Started with just 11 students in a thatched building, the college grew by leaps and bounds, and each year a new course was introduced. SRC became the first in the state to offer a Post Graduate Degree in Chemistry.

In 1973, an English medium school, the Kamakoti Vidyalaya following the ICSE pattern was started. Service to the cause of education and society never go unrecognized and he was awarded a Padmashri and later, a Padmabhushan in 1971 by the Government of India.

Ayyar was a great lover of Sanskrit, music and the fine arts. He was the president of Tiruchy Samskrita Sahitya Parishad for over two decades.

Eminent personalities from diverse walks of life have visited the college. He constructed halls in the college for the regular conduct of prayers for the students and arranged for lectures on spiritual topics.

This great educationist passed away in March 1976 who until his last worked ceaselessly for the cause of women's education.

The educational complex founded by him now serves as a beacon for a number of other institutions and aims at excellence in all the activities and missions it undertakes.