Thiruvalluvar’s image on paddy field turns Malaiappanallur a cynosure for farming community

In a novel attempt to spread awareness on organic farming, a farmer of Malaiappanallur near Kumbakonam has raised paddy on his field in a pattern that reflects the image of Tamil poet-saint Thiruvalluvar.

P.G. Elangovan, 62, a staunch advocate of organic farming, had begun the work of raising seedlings on Kuzhithattu (hole plates), specifically sourced about three months ago, for the purpose. Thiruvalluvar, who dedicated a separate ‘adhigaram’ to agriculture in Thirukkural, was presented in the image with the colour-variation of ‘Chinnar’ variety of paddy (brown) and ‘Mysore Malli’ (green).

The image of Thiruvalluvar made by planting paddy and ‘Mysore Malli’

The image of Thiruvalluvar made by planting paddy and ‘Mysore Malli’ | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

With the support of K. Vilvanathan of Arts College in Kumbakonam, the farmer drew a picture of Thiruvalluvar on about half acre of the field. He then meticulously planted the paddy seedlings on the lines, 65 days ago. Normally, it takes four to five hours to complete paddy transplanting on half an acre. But, it took five days for Elangovan to complete the task.

He had to work patiently to figure out the sitting posture of the saint-poet, whose work has transcended across borders for its universality and acceptance. The paddy crop is now at milk stage. On bird’s eye view, it aptly reflects the image of Thiruvalluvar.

‘Need to emulate’

“We, the society, are in a dire need of emulating the message of Thiruvalluvar on organic farming. There can be no other personalities than Thiruvalluvar to propagate the message. Hence, I have chosen his figure to spread awareness of organic farming,” says Mr. Elangovan, who adopted the environmental-friendly farming about 10 years ago.

The field receives a steady stream of visitors from different parts of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts. They spend time understanding the method in which the image has been made. Mr. Elangovan does not get away from the responsibility of explaining the artistic work to visitors.

Mr. Elangovan, a follower of ‘Nel’ Jayaraman who fought for preserving traditional paddy varieties, said he would be happy if at least one farmer in each village of the State switched to organic farming post his initiative.

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Printable version | Jul 20, 2022 1:18:52 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/thiruvalluvars-image-on-paddy-field-turns-malaiappanallur-a-cynosure-for-farming-community/article65624111.ece