Tamil Nadu

Ferrying the ill in a cloth cradle

In the absence of a motorable road to Kathirimalai hamlet in the Anthiyur taluk of Erode district, a secondary grade teacher in the hamlet was carried in a cloth cradle, after he fell ill, for five hours to the foothills at Kolathur and admitted to a private hospital at Mettur on Sunday night.

As many as 80 families, comprising 294 members, belonging to the Solaga community reside in the hamlet that is located 1,200 metres above the sea level in the reserve forest area of the Chennampatti Forest Range in the Erode Forest Division. The hamlet in the Bargur panchayat union can be reached only on foot through the rough terrain for nine km from Kathiripatti at Kolathur in Salem district. Incessant rain damaged the five-km mud road laid under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme; even two-wheelers could not be operated on the stretch.

A total of 30 students are studying at the Government Tribal Residential Middle School in the hilltop, where R. Gunasekaran works as a secondary grade teacher. The headmaster of the Government Tribal Residential School at Kuttaiyur, located on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border in the Bargur hills, is the headmaster in-charge for the school in Kathirimalai. He travels over 180 km from Kuttaiyur to Kathirimalai twice a week to take classes. On Sunday noon, Mr. Gunasekaran fell ill. Villagers decided to shift him to the hospital in the plains. Since he could not walk, they tied a cloth to a bamboo pole and made a cradle. Six villagers carried the cradle and set out from Kathirimalai at 3.30 p.m. and reached the foothills at 8.30 p.m. Selvaraj, a teacher from Kolathur, admitted him to a private hospital at Mettur where he was diagnosed with kidney stones. He is under treatment.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 8:51:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ferrying-the-ill-in-a-cloth-cradle/article37761439.ece

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