Madurai

Despite living on alms, old man continues to be a COVID-19 warrior

M. Pul Pandian.

M. Pul Pandian.  

For the sixth time, 68 year-old M. Pul Pandian who has spent his whole life in poverty, contributed ₹ 10,000 that he collected through begging to the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund to fight against COVID-19, here on Wednesday.

Mr. Pandian, who usually travels between districts in South Tamil Nadu, including Thoothukudi, Thanjavur and Pudukottai, says that he has been donating to government schools in these areas for their infrastructural development for many years now. When the pandemic began, he redirected the funds to the Madurai Collector’s office in May and has been continuing to contribute ever since.

“When schools shut, the authorities from these schools said that my contribution would be better used in helping those who require COVID-19 treatment. I derive happiness from giving more to people,” he says.

Mr. Pandian says that he arrived in Madurai around two weeks before the lockdown began and has been moving around the district ever since. He adds that since he predominantly walks, he is not stopped at checkposts during the time of the lockdown caused by COVID-19.

He also says that he finds places outside small temples to sleep at night and survives on the food that kind strangers provide to him.

In order to keep safe, Mr. Pandian says that he wears a mask and says that others must too. “Only if I am protected from the virus can I help in the relief efforts,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 5:00:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/despite-living-on-alms-old-man-continues-to-be-a-covid-19-warrior/article32164508.ece

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