Distributes proceeds of book sale to families of those committed suicide

Divya got married just a fortnight ago. But the new mangalasutra adorning her neck and a bundle of fresh jasmine on her head could hardly suppress the sorrow in her eyes. Her brother R. Sakthivel, a farmer from Tiruvarur, committed suicide by consuming poison, when he was in neck-deep in debt and overcome by the fear that he would not be in a position to mobilise money for his sister’s marriage.

“We depend completely on river water and the crop failure forced my brother to take the extreme step. The marriage is over and we are still in debt. Today’s financial assistance will be of great help,” said R. Sathish, another brother of Divya.

Both of them were in Chennai to receive Rs one lakh from lyricist Vairamuthu, who decided to distribute a substantial amount from proceeds from the sale of his book Moonraam Ulaga Por to delta farmers hit by crop failure. A total of 11 families were given Rs one lakh each. The widows of the delta farmers were present. Since Sakthivel was not married, his sister and brother received the amount. Besides Rs three lakh assistance from the government, they have received Rs 25,000 from actor Vijayakant.

Bhanumathi, 25, a Dalit from Mannargudi taluk, said her husband Ramesh had consumed pesticide after he fell deep into debt.

Vairamuthu was conferred the Ilakkiya Chinthanai award for the book, which has so far run into nine editions, at the function. He decided to add the distribution of sale proceeds to the agenda at the same function.

Abdul Raheem, farmer from Thiruthuraipoondi taluk, hanged himself from a tree near his paddy field. Gomathi, widow of Gopalakrishnan from Melakorukkai village in Tiruvarur, said she was yet to receive any government assistance. Earlier, Judge of the Madras High Court Justice S. Vimala conferred the award on him. The award for best short story was given to Tamizharuvimanian. Writer Neela Padmanabhan received Mumbai Adi Lakshmanan award. ‘Ilakkiya Chinthanai’ trustee P.Lakshmanan explained the reasons for selecting Moonraam Ulaga Por for the award.

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