Know about the First Women Chartered Accountant of India
Do you know who was the first woman Chartered Accountant of our country?
Well the plain looking, 23-year-old women, born on 23rd July 1907, from Vellore, R.Sivabhogam surprised the nation when she became the first women Chartered Accountant of India. She completed her schooling from Lady Wellington School, Chennai. She was an independent girl who was extremely motivated by the clarion call of Mahatma Gandhi who along with her friends participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement and was imprisoned for almost a year. It was during that time when she developed the interest in Accounts and desired to explore the horizons, untouched by women at that time. She got full support from her elder sister and registered herself for the Government Diploma in Accountancy and subsequently created the history by becoming the First Indian Women Accountant in 1933. She underwent articleship training under Mr C.S Sastri.
She was keen on starting an independent practice but British government enacted a law, preventing the people who were imprisoned to register themselves as Accountants. She filed a petition against the act and miraculously got the verdict in her favour.On the formation of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) in 1949 Sivabhogam was enrolled as a member and became a fellow on 17 June 1950. Later, she became the Chairperson of the Southern India Regional Council (SIRC) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. She became India’s first women who held this position for a continuous period of three years. During her tenure, Sivabhogam carried out a number of audits. Her forte was Reserve Bank of India audit. However, she preferred conducting audits of the charitable institution. She motivated youngsters to take up the Chartered Accountancy course and provided coaching classes. She was keen that girls join the CA course and also offered the prize for the best women candidate in the Final examination.She was also a senate member of the University of Madras. Sivabhogam had been very active in social service and primarily for the cause of women’s education. She was a believer in Gandhian principles, travelled only in the bus and wore Khadi till her death on 14 June 1966. An endowment in her name is being created for awarding scholarships to economically weak women students desirous of pursuing the CA course.