Tamil Nadu

A blast from the past for TN Health Secretary

“Old grandmothers came up to tell me what happened to their families in all these years and kindly asked after my wife and son who they remembered as well,” the Health Secretary said   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

It was a detour, but for Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan, it was a blast from the past. On tour in the delta districts to oversee pandemic control activities, he smuggled a short span of time in his schedule to catch up with people from his past.

Dr. Radhakrishnan made a quick stop at Natham village near Kumbakonam, en route. The people of this village were once close to him, he said, because 13 of the 94 children who had died in the horrific Kumbakonam school fire in 2004, hailed from this village. Dr. Radhakrishnan was the collector of Thanjavur district at that point and oversaw relief and rehabilitation for the families of children who died in the fire accident.

He said, “I had a touching meeting with some of the parents of the children, including the mother of late Muruganandam, who perished in the fire. My family, my wife Krithika and son Arvind used to accompany me on visits to the homes of the children. In one instance, Muruganandam’s grandmother mistook my son for her grandson, and Arvind managed to persuade her to drink something, as she had not eaten for days after the tragedy.”

He further shared his joy at finding out that they still remembered his visits to their homes and fondly enquired about his family. “Old grandmothers came up to tell me what happened to their families in all these years and kindly asked after my wife and son whom they remembered as well.”

Dr. Radhakrishnan also urged the health team to organise a vaccination camp in the area and provide what health support was required for the area.


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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 2:22:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/a-blast-from-the-past-for-tn-health-secretary/article34829729.ece

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