Madurai

Farmers pay tribute to Pennycuick

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Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam garlanded the portrait and statue of Col. John Pennycuick at the memorial in Lower Camp near here on Wednesday. The event was held in celebration of the 179th birth anniversary of the English engineer and the government has been holding a celebration every year to honour him.

Collector M. Pallavi Baldev was present.

John Pennycuick is hailed in the villages of Cumbum Valley for constructing the Mullaperiyar dam, which has been the source of water for irrigation. “The memorial measuring 2500 sq.feet was constructed by former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa at a cost of ₹ 1 crore as a mark of respect to the Englishman who spent his entire fortune to construct the dam. Because of his efforts, farmers in the five districts of Theni, Dindigul, Madurai, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram get water today,” said Mr. Paneerselvam.

Superintendent of Police E. Saisaran Thejaswi, District Revenue Officer K. Ramesh, Uthamapalayam Revenue Divisional Officer Muthiah, PWD Executive Engineer Subramanian, Assiatnt Engineer Suresh and representatives of farmers’ organisations participated in the event.

Villagers of Palarpatti near Bodi celebrated ‘Pennycuick Pongal’ on Thursday by cooking pongal in front of a large portrait of the engineer as a mark of their gratitude. Women took the portrait in a procession around the village and a puja was performed. Pongal was offered to everyone in the hamlet and traditional games were organised in the evening.

“A a lot of farmers in the villages of Chinnamanur, Uppukottai, Kuchanur, Markkayankottai and Palarpatti worship Pennycuick during the Pongal festival. It is because of him the Cumbum Valley is a fertile belt even today. The villagers have been paying a tribute to him for over two decades now. One can find many men named as Pennycuick in these area,” said Kannan, president of Theni district Farmers’ Association.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 12:49:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/farmers-pay-tribute-to-pennycuick/article30578204.ece

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