Thillaiyadi Valliammi (22 February 1898 - 22 February 1914) was a South African Tamil woman who worked with Mahatma Gandhi in his early years when he developed his nonviolent methods in South Africa fighting its apartheid regime.
She was born to R. Munuswamy Mudaliar and Janakiammal, a young immigrant couple from a small village called Thillaiyadi in Thanjavur in India to Johannesburg – the gold-city of South Africa to work for their way out of difficulty. Her father was a trader and owner of a confectionery shop. Since her mother Janaki is from Thillaiyadi in Tamil Nadu, her daughter Valliammai came to be popularly called Thillaiyadi Valliammai. Valliammai had never been to India. She grew in an environment that was rather hostile to Indians. But the young child did not even know that it was not right to be segregated so,until she was in her early teens.
A law was passed that any marriage that is not according to the Church or according to the marriage law of South Africa would be held null and void, which disproportionately affected the Indian community in that country. Doubts regarding inheritance arose. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi began his opposition.