Cyclone Gaja wrecked havoc in many districts of Tamilnadu, and, soon, Velacheri residents reached out to the victims, with many travelling to the affected areas and volunteering with the relief works.
One such person who continues to work tirelessly for the Gaja victims is C Marimuthu (60), a resident of Spic Nagar, Velacheri. Being a native of Pudukottai, he could not sit idle when the catastrophe played out, and he has already made two trips to the affected villages along with his office staff Venu to distribute relief materials.
“I have family and friends in Pudukottai who sent me an SOS. We carried enough items for 100 families, but when I reached there, I realised the damage was far too much. I have a coconut farm there and 60 per cent of it is destroyed. The number of fallen trees and damaged EB posts are countless. I could sense the unrest among the people. They were devastated,” the retired banker recounts.
Even after returning home, he says that he kept in touch with the people there and knew he had not done enough. “The district has many paddy fields and food was not really a concern for them, the problem was damaged crops and most importantly electricity,” he reveals.
“The school students there were worried about their upcoming half-yearly exams and how to prepare for them without electricity. The first thing I decided to do after that was to provide them with solar lamps and began gathering funds.
“Through social media, I reached out to my neighbours, colleagues and even some friends abroad for contribution. In batches, I managed to send 1,400 solar lamps. The price of one lamp is Rs 200, but I bargained a deal with a local shopkeeper, who eventually agreed to give them at a discounted price,” he says with content.
“Electricity is being restored in many villages, but there are hamlets that are still in bad shape. I will continue sending relief till the end of this month,” he assures, when asked about how he is planning to take this good work forward.
Marimuthu can be reached at 95000 39133.