Udhagamandalam: Having been greeted with a vanakkam by children and adults alike for the best part of her life, a septuagenarian woman has for the past few days been going around the Green Field area of this hill station greeting the people with a vanakkam and a smile.
The reason: she is contesting as an independent candidate for a seat in the Udhagamandalam Municipal Council. Jothibai (70), a retired teacher, who is stated to be the oldest candidate in the fray in the 2006 civic elections here and one of the oldest in the district.
Having worked as a teacher in the Government School at Kodappamund here for about three decades, she retired 12 years ago but continues to help students. Being a strong proponent of the Exnora concept, her desire to make the Green Field area a model ward drove her to file her nomination papers. One of the six persons opposing Ms. Jothibai was once her student.
Stating that she does bear any ill will towards anybody, she says let the best person win. Invitations to join various political parties reflect her popularity. Will she? With a resounding `no', she told The Hindu that she would like to retain her identity and work for the welfare of the people irrespective of the outcome of the elections.