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Veteran industrialist Pollachi Mahalingam passes away

N. Mahalingam, Chairman, Sakthi Group of Companies. File photo: S. Siva Saravanan  

N. Mahalingam, Chairman of the Coimbatore-based Sakthi Group of Companies, passed away in Chennai on Thursday. He was 91.

According to sources, Mr. Mahalingam had been organising the Gandhi Vallalar Vizha for the last 49 years. He was at the event in Chennai on Thursday evening when he collapsed. He was rushed to a private hospital but declared dead.

Born on March 21, 1923 into an agricultural family at Somanthurai Chittoor, Pollachi, Mr. Mahalingam completed B.Sc. in physics at Loyola College, Chennai. He joined the College of Engineering, Guindy, and obtained a diploma in Mechanical Engineering in 1945.

He was a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly from 1952 to 1967. He was instrumental in the implementation of the Parambikulam Aliyar Project, which was inaugurated when he was a legislator. He had been actively campaigning for the linking of rivers. A Gandhian, educationist and philanthropist, he received the Padma Bhushan in 2007. As an industrialist, he focused on agro-based industries, a family source said.

He became a member of the Indian National Congress in 1940 and was a member of the AICC between 1958 and 1968. He was a member of the State Planning Commission from 1971 to 1974 and from 1981 to 1982.

ABT Limited, Sakthi Sugars, and Sri Sakthi Textiles are some of the companies that are part of the Sakthi Group.

He had established several educational institutions and written a number of books. He is the founder and honorary editor of Kisan World, a monthly magazine, and Om Sakthi, a Tamil monthly. Mr. Mahalingam had served in the committee of the Southern India Mills Association and was president of the South Indian Sugar Mills Association, Tamil Nadu in 1972-1973.

He is the Chairman of the Gandhi Memorial Museum, Madurai. Ramalingar Mission, Chennai, was established in 1965 with Mr. Mahalingam as its president.

He is survived by his wife, three sons and a daughter.

The funeral was held on Friday evening.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 2:54:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/veteran-industrialist-pollachi-mahalingam-passes-away/article6468429.ece

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