In August 1942, a train carrying weapons from Cochin to Sulur was derailed by a group of youngsters by removing a few bolts from the track. The same day they also burned down the Royal Navy Air Yard (Air Force Yard) in Sulur.
As a fitting tribute to those young unsung heroes of Indian freedom struggle, the V.O. Chidambaranar Seva Trust has organised a three-day photo exhibition at the R.S. Puram Corporation Higher Secondary School. Photographs of as many as 240 freedom fighters from Coimbatore are on display at the exhibition that began here on Saturday.
“We did not know that there were so many freedom fighters from this region,” S. Raju, a student, said and paid floral tribute to the heroes. Among the 240 freedom fighters, 30 were from Kannampalayam and 20 from Pattanam Pudur.
“There are many more freedom fighters but we could only collect the pictures that are displayed here,” president of the trust S. Muthuvel told The Hindu .
“While we know the heroic acts of national level freedom fighters and a few people of this State, we felt that unsung heroes of this district should be recognised and honoured,” he said. But for a handful of them, the other freedom fighters are only remembered by their family or village.
Interestingly, the exhibition is being organised by seven men who did not even finish schooling. Muthuvel is a painter. Other members of the trust are mechanics and masons. They had strived hard for more than one-and-a-half years to collect the pictures. “It took us time as we cannot afford to skip our daily wages,” Mr. Muthuvel said. The team collected the pictures personally from the family members of the freedom fighters. “We collected the pictures based on reference given by families of other freedom fighters,” he said.
Next year the Trust members plan to collect pictures of more freedom fighters from Coimbatore and other districts and organise exhibitions across Tamil Nadu. Family members of freedom fighters from Tamil Nadu can contact Muthuvel at 99944-61981 and share images and details.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Municipal Administration Minister S.P. Velumani. It will be open to public from 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.