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CARING: Collector S.S. Jawahar with students who received slippers at Karakeni village near Madurai on Wednesday.
CARING: Collector S.S. Jawahar with students who received slippers at Karakeni village near Madurai on Wednesday.

S. Vijay Kumar

These children will also get a soap cake, handkerchief, talcum powder and comb.

MADURAI: For many children in this sleepy village, wearing slippers was a new experience. Little were they aware that the Madurai Collector, S.S. Jawahar, would come in a bus to their school and distribute footwear, steel plates and tumblers.

As part of the ‘Anaithu Grama Anna Marumalarchi Scheme,’ the district administration on Wednesday distributed the freebies to school going children at Karakeni near T. Kallupatti.

This is not all. These children will also get a soap cake, handkerchief, talcum powder and comb.

Explaining his concept of bringing about a “groomed appearance” among rural students, Mr. Jawahar said that a majority of children in panchayat schools belonged to the ‘below poverty line’ category and could not buy slippers.

The project launched in Karakeni would be extended to other panchayat schools soon.

“It will be a continuing programme in association with philanthropists. This initiative will go a long way in enhancing the confidence level of students,” he said.

Mr. Jawahar and other officials travelled in a State-owned bus to the village where a mass contact programme was also conducted.

Of the 421 petitions received from locals, 252 were disposed of on the spot.

Booklets on welfare schemes would be made available in all panchayat union offices with applications and contact numbers of the officials. Telephone connectivity had been provided to all the 431 village panchayats in the district by the Government, he added.

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