Thiruvananthapuram

State’s own daughter is in raptures

Sreeja T., the State’s ‘first adopted daughter’ helping her daughter Meenakshi get ready for the Ottanthullal competition. Vinod Kumar, Sreeja’s husband, is to the left.

Sreeja T., the State’s ‘first adopted daughter’ helping her daughter Meenakshi get ready for the Ottanthullal competition. Vinod Kumar, Sreeja’s husband, is to the left.   | Photo Credit: K_K_Mustafah

State’s ‘first adopted daughter’ is at the fete with her ward

Tears rolled down her cheeks as T. Sreeja helped with the make-up of her daughter Meenakshi for the Ottanthullal competition at the Vivekodayam HSS on Monday.

It was but natural for her to turn emotional. For, Sreeja, “the first adopted daughter of the State” was exactly her daughter’s age when fate left her an orphan, leaving her to the mercy of the government.

Twenty-four years ago, on July 20, a giant tree, uprooted in heavy winds, had landed atop her home at Aninja in Kasaragod district crushing her parents, two elder brothers, and a sister. All seemed lost when the government adopted her.

Drawing her daughter, a Class 9 student of Durga HSS, Kasaragod, near, she thanked all those who helped piece her life together.

“It was the then UDF government led by the late K. Karunakaran that took her as the first adopted daughter of the State. P. Mara Pandiyan, then District Collector of Kasaragod, had recommended to the government to adopt her,” said Vinod Kumar, Sreeja’s husband, a teacher at the Govt. High School at Thachangad in Kasaragod.

Sreeja was appointed as clerk in the Revenue Department immediately after she completed pre-degree. She is now working in the taluk office at Hosdurg.

An A grade

“I feel happy when Meenakshi performs. My elder daughter Sreelakshmi, a Plus Two student at Hosdurg HSS, had won the Ottanthullal event in the school arts festival in 2015,” said Sreeja. Meenakshi won A grade in the high school section, in which 23 students participated.

Most of the participants in the Ottanthullal event stuck to the traditional stories. A student from Palakkad said she presented ‘Santhanagopalam’ as it gave ample scope for facial expressions.

Manaloor Gopinathan, noted Thullal artiste, said that his disciples tried something different while narrating a piece from ‘Nalacharitham’ and ‘Sundariswayamvaram.’ Mr. Gopinathan, a sub-inspector with the State Special Branch in Thrissur, pointed out that the contest needed new and interesting stories.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 4:32:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/states-own-daughter-is-in-raptures/article22399531.ece

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