Appointment orders, sewing machines given to 287 beneficiaries

K. Vasanthi (29), of Avaniapuram near here was given in marriage to an agricultural labourer at the age of 16. She gave birth to three girl children and the youngest of them is now in first standard. Her husband died in a road accident two years ago leaving behind the family to fend for itself.

R. Vijaya (66) of Munthiri Thoppu in Anna Nagar has a different experience to narrate. Her husband, an expert in laying thatched roof, died seven years ago. Thereafter, she was deserted by her only son and daughter-in-law. The aged woman was left to fend for herself by running errands as a domestic worker.

They, along with V. Lingammal (33) of Avaniapuram, B. Meena (35) of Alangulam and 283 other women, who had to slog in the hot sun and heavy rains to earn their livelihood, were among the beneficiaries of financial and material assistance distributed by M.K. Azhagiri, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, here on Saturday.

The Minister handed over the appointment orders to 63 women to be employed as assistants at various Anganwadis (government sponsored mother and child-care centres) in the district. He also distributed orders entitling 104 widows and senior citizens to receive monthly financial assistance from the government.

The other beneficiaries included 50 persons who received free house site patta (land-ownership documents) given by the Backward Classes and Most Backward Classes Welfare Department. Around 10 Dalit women, who had learnt tailoring, were given free sewing machines to support their families.

District Revenue Officer Dinesh Ponraj Oliver said that more than 1.7 lakh children in the district were benefited by over 1300 Anganwadis which were established under the Integrated Child Development Services, a scheme implemented jointly by the Centre and the State Government.

Members of the Legislative Assembly P. Moorthy, S. Syed Ghouse Basha, K.S.K. Rajendran, representing Sholavandan, Madurai Central and Madurai West constituencies respectively, and P. Ashok Kumar, Chairman of the District Panchayat, participated in the function held on the Collectorate campus.