Collector’s gesture towards differently abled boy wins hearts

Collector G.S. Sameeran (right) helps V. Alagumalai, a three-year-old differently abled boy from Podanur, to put on his new footwear on Friday.   | Photo Credit: PERIASAMY M

A family of four from Podanur, who visited the Collectorate on Friday to receive welfare assistance, were pleasantly surprised as the District Collector G.S. Sameeran knelt down to help the three-year-old differently abled boy wear his new shoes.

About two weeks ago, R. Velmurugan, a differently abled man from Podanur who runs a petty shop, had petitioned the Collector seeking assistance for his family, an official from the Department of Welfare of Differently Abled Persons said. Both he and his son V. Alagumalai were suffering from club foot, a birth defect where the feet are rotated inward and downward. The petition was reviewed and the family was invited to the Collectorate on Friday, the official said.

As Mr. Sameeran examined the boy’s feet, he kneeled down in front of him and help him wear the specially modified footwear provided by the district administration. “You have got new shoes, so you should keep running now,” the Collector remarked as he tied the boy’s shoelaces. Following this, Mr. Sameeran held Alagumalai’s hand to help him take a few steps with his new footwear. Video clips of the incident went viral on social media platforms, with the Collector receiving appreciations from many for his act.

“I never expected that the Collector would do this,” Mr. Velmurugan, 35, told The Hindu. With his livelihood being impacted by the first and second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said that he did not receive any assistance from the district administration despite making multiple representations in the past.

His wife is a homemaker who looks after him and the son and his 13-year-old daughter was studying in a government school, Mr. Velmurugan said. He urged the authorities to provide proper accommodation to him and his family at the earliest as he was unable to pay the rent for his residence.

The district administration also provided a bicycle and school bag to the daughter and a solar powered lamp to Mr. Velmurugan for his shop on Friday, the official said.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 9:51:26 AM |

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