Chennai - Sandesh

What Tamilnadu Media Found Out:
Society Does Not Yet Lack Values
Media in Tamilnadu found out last week that society does not lack values after all. A couple of positive stories that commanded coverage are as follows: A tea shop owner has written off all dues that his customers owed him till December 18. S. Sivakumar, 38, of Manganampatti in Pudhukottai district (worst hit in the Gaja cyclone), is running a tea stall. The waiver costs him nearly Rs. 15,000. His small business largely runs on credit. Most of his customers - farmers and farm labourers - pay on weekly and monthly basis. Some of them settle the dues after selling flowers and other farm produce. Farm workers pay him after getting their weekly or monthly wages. But most of them have lost their source of income after the Gaja cyclone. Even affluent farmers have become paupers. Some of his customers, who owed him money, were hesitant to visit his shop after the cyclone as they had suffered extensive loss and did not have cash. Though he too lost about 35 neem and mango trees, he felt others had suffered more loss. So he decided to do his bit by writing off all dues of his customers. Good deeds are not essentially rare. Rs. 59,800 is no small amount for B. Senthil, 45, of Ayanavaram, Chennai. He found the cash lying at an ATM kiosk. He handed it over to a police station. City police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan invited him to his office and rewarded him for his honesty.

This was How 168 child marriages could be stopped in Thiruvannamalai

It was a unique effort to stop child marriages rampant in Thiruvannamalai. On December 20, District Collector K.S. Kandaswamy got 1, 94,940 girl students from 2,508 schools all over Thirvannamalai district simultaneously assembled to write on a post card a letter to their parents under the head “MY DREAM”. At one such assembly in Danish Mission Higher Secondary School, the Collector and other officials from Education Department, Legal Department, principals and teachers were present as 6,000 girl students poured their feelings on the post cards. Post boxes were made available to post the cards immediately at the venue itself so that they could reach the parents without delay. This was to encourage the girls to express their thoughts and feelings, their dreams: not to get them married off at a young age; not to stop their education at any cost. The Collector appealed to one and all that girls should be treated at par with boys. Later, addressing a youthful audience at the Thiruvannamalai Government Arts College, Kandaswamy reiterated, “with the gender ratio in the district being 1000 boys: 882 girls, a worrisome situation arose. This district was found to lag behind State and National gender ratio levels owing to the attitude of families giving a secondary treatment to girls. This situation has to be changed and for that let us treat boys and girls at par”. By such effort, already 168 child marriages could be stopped in the district.

Mother Kaveri, Where Is The Culture That Thrived On Your Banks?

South Zone Cultural Centre established by Ministry of Culture, Government of India, has its headquarters in Thanjavur. But the hoary culture of the wetlands of Kaveri is brutally maimed. Read on: A 1,000 years ago Chola Kings built Shiva temples along the ghats of river Kaveri. They provided for aid and offered assets in the villages girding the temples to ensure regular poojas and festivals. In the 15th and 16th century, Naickar kings followed suit. But today the village demography has changed. Specially houses in Agraharam (Brahmin dwelling) were sold to Muslims stating financial reasons. The Hindu population in the village slowly dwindled leading to dilapidation of century old Chola Temples and usurping of temple properties by Abrahmic religions in league with local government officials and police. The case in point is Pandaravadai. Lord Machapureeswarar, the presiding deity was installed during Aditya Chola period along river Kudamurutti - a tributary of Kaveri. Majority of houses were bought by Muslims in the last 30 years leaving behind a handful of Hindu devotees.. The temple has huge farmlands and assets but the revenues were seldom used for the betterment of the temple. A lone Sivachariyar (priest) who, at a meagre salary of Rs.1000 per month, takes care of this temple along with 13 other Shiva temples! The once mighty Arudra procession in any Siva Temple is today dragging on with just four devotees and the lone Siva deity. The temple pond which once was the water source for all abishekams for Lord Machapureeswarar has now become the bathing place for Muslims. This is the painful scene one would witness when travelling along the banks of Kaveri intending to have a darshan of Siva temples of Chola Era.

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