Recite Thirukkural to get a litre of petrol free

A fuel station owner at Nagapampalli has done this to encourage students to learn the Tamil classic

Updated - February 13, 2021 06:52 am IST

Published - February 12, 2021 08:29 pm IST - Karur

A girl recites Thirukkural at Valluvar Agencies fuel station near Karur.

A girl recites Thirukkural at Valluvar Agencies fuel station near Karur.

Poet-saint Thiruvalluvar’s masterpiece Thirukkural could teach you sublime life lessons. At a mundane level, it can also fetch you a litre of free petrol now in Karur if kids in your family know by heart at least 20 of the 1,330 couplets of the Tamil classic.

A fuel station owner at Nagampalli near Karur has been offering half a litre of petrol free to customers whose kids recite 10 couplets of Thirukkural. If they recite 20 couplets, they get a litre free.

Introduced on Thiruvallavur Day last month, the offer at the fuel station named after Valluvar, will run till April-end. The offer is open to students of classes 1 to 12 who are required to be accompanied by their parents. They should submit in writing the couplets that they plan to recite. A participant can enter the contest multiple times but must recite different couplets each time.

The idea behind the novel offer, conceptualised by K. Senguttuvan, owner of the petrol station and chairman of the Valluvar College of Science and Management, is to encourage students read Thirukkural.

“Firstly, reading habit is on the decline among students. And reading Thirukkural could help bring about a focus among students. I want students to grow with Thirukkural; but this needs some encouragement. Hence, I came up with the idea,” says Mr. Senguttuvan explaining the intent.

The love for Thirukkural runs in the family of Mr. Senguttuvan. His father, Karuppiah had named his electrical store after Valluvur, way back in 1960. The shop at Paramthi Velur is still run by his brother.

“My father showed us how to live by the values of Thiruvalluvar. Nobody who lived by those ideals have failed. Those who followed the path shown by Thirukkural will enjoy a life of fulfilment,” affirms Mr.Senguttuvan who also runs a hotel named after Valluvar in Karur.

Students too seem to relish the contest. “I enjoyed reciting the kurals, some of which I had learnt in my school,” said S. Dhivani, a class VI student of the Panchayat Union Elementary School, Malaikovilur, who recited 10 couplets. Her father, Selvaraj, termed the offer useful which has kindled the interest of students.

Till Thursday, 147 students have availed the offer, according to Mr. Senguttuvan.

“Though the price of petrol is nearing ₹90 a litre, I don't mind. I want the students to imbibe the spirit of Thirukkural,” he says. Mr. Senguttuvan is planning a follow up programme for the participants at his college later so as to continue their learning of Thirukkural.

Mr. Senguttuvan also runs a scholarship scheme for undergraduate students at Valluvar College of Science and Management under which students who recite all the 1,330 couplets of Thirukkural are offered fee waiver for all three years. The only condition – the beneficiaries should visit villages for two Sundays every month to teach Thirukkural to rural students. Over the past five years, about 15 students have availed the scholarship, he claims.

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