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Florence Swainson

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இந்தப் பக்கத்தை தமிழில் வாசிக்க: ஃப்ளாரென்ஸ் ஸ்வெயின்ஸன்

Florence Swainson

Florence Swainson (1853- 1946) was an English missionary and educationalist who founded the Deaf School in Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli and in Chennai.


Florence Swainson was from England and was from a traditionally elite family.

Educational Service

Young Florence Swainson

Miss. Swainson belonged to the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society. She came as a missionary through them and worked in a women’s college in Amritsar in Punjab. Due to health issues she returned to England. She came back to India to Sarah Tucker College in Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli district and taught there. She also taught tailoring to destitute women. Tailoring was an important source of livelihood for such women those days. It also liberated them. In 1895 a dumb and deaf woman joined her tailoring class and showed great eagerness in learning. Miss. Swainson took a special interest in the woman. Her success brought three more deaf-mute women joined the class. Miss. Swainson took it as a sign from God. She started a class for deaf-mute persons in 1897 and taught them using pictures and letters.

As more deaf-mute students came to learn, she rented a bungalow and converted it to a school for deaf-mute persons. As more and more students came to learn, the school expanded into a school for the deaf. In 1900 she bought 14 acres of land and converted it into a complete educational institute. She spent all her inheritance on establishing the school. Miss. Morgan and Rev. Charles Chittenden helped her in the endeavor. She hired teachers who were trained to teach deaf-mute students and she also trained many new teachers with their help. The school got Government recognition in 1901.

Students from Swainson's school

This school was the first of its kind in south India.[1] She helped the government of Madras to start a similar school and also another in Thiruvalla, Kerala, establishing the CEZMS School for the Deaf at Mylapore, Chennai in 1912 with 7 students. This is now known as CSI Higher Secondary School for the Deaf which functions as one of the big schools for the hearing impaired.


She returned back to England in 1920 and died there at the age of 93 on March 3, 1946.



  1. "School for the Deaf and Dumb at Palamcottah," India’s Women and China’s Daughters XXVIII, no. 270 (December 1908): 179.

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