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Vidya Pillai (born 26 November 1978 in Trichy) is an Indian professional player of snooker. Vidya Pillai grew up in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. In 2011, after her wedding to Bangalore based architect MC Tilakraj she moved to Bangalore, Karnataka and is currently a domicile of the state. In recognition of her achievements, the Government of Karnataka has bestowed her with the prestigious Ekalavya award in 2016 for outstanding performance in Sports.
She has won several International medals for India and recently in 2013 won the Gold medal in the IBSF World Team Snooker Championship, Gold in the IBSF Australian Women’s Ranking Snooker Championship in 2016 and was the first Indian woman to reach the finals of the WLBSA World Women's Snooker Championship in 2017 and won the Silver medal as well. She is also a 9-time winner of the National Championship Title. She is acclaimed to be the best Woman Snooker player in India.
She was educated in Chennai in three different schools namely St. John’s School, Boston Matriculation and Children’s Garden Secondary School. Higher education took her to the prestigious Loyola College, Chennai where she obtained a degree in Visual Communication and later went on to complete a Post-Graduate Diploma in Communication and Management at the National Institute of Sales.
She credits former Indian international cricketer Hemang Badani for introducing her to the sport, and the late national billiards champion, TG Kamala Devi, for inspiring her.
Vidya Pillai is a nine-time Women’s National Snooker Champion, her latest victory coming at the Indian National Snooker Championship in Indore in 2016. She has finished runner-up in three different editions of the tournament in 2006, 2009 and 2015. She also won the Indian National 6-Red Snooker Championship in 2013 & the Indian National 9-Ball Pool Championship in 2005.
Vidya Pillai made her first international appearance at the 2007 IBSF World Snooker (Ladies) Championship and lost in the quarter-finals. Ever since, she has won a Gold medal in the IBSF World Team Snooker Championship in 2013, Gold in the IBSF Australian Women’s Ranking Snooker Championship in 2016, Gold in the IBSF Australian Open Women’s Snooker Championship in 2010, Two Silver medals in the IBSF World 6 Reds Snooker Championship Women in 2015 and 2016, one Silver in the IBSF World Team Snooker Championship in 2016, two Bronze medals IBSF World Snooker Championship in 2010 and 2012, one Bronze in the IBSF World Team Snooker Championship in 2014 and one Bronze at the WLBSA World Billiards Championship in 2008.
She has also won a Silver medal at the Asian Billiard Sport Championship held at Doha in 2016.
Most recently, finished with a Silver medal in the WLBSA World Women's Snooker Championship in 2017.