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For this ex-Railway employee, life began after retirement

A noble pursuit: N. Subramanian has been providing copies of the Thirukural, atlas and dictionary to government school students in Tiruvannamalai and Vellore districts.   | Photo Credit: K. Pichumani

The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off, so goes a saying. And this holds true in the case of 77-year-old N. Subramanian. It seems as if he was indeed waiting for retirement, to launch himself headlong into another sector — giving him great pleasure and peace of mind, besides touching the lives of several others to make them better. After retiring from the Railways, he has been working towards helping children of government primary schools, and for the cause of pensioners for nearly two decades now.

A resident of Kumaran Nagar, Virugambakkam, in Chennai, Mr. Subramanian retired from the Railways in 2001. Since then he has been providing copies of the Thirukural, Atlas and dictionary to government school students in Kilpenathur, Kuruvimalai, Vanakambadi, Ramapalayam and Pelathur villages located in Tiruvannamalai and Vellore districts. He spends close to ₹75,000 for this purpose, dipping into his own pension and savings.

“I always felt guilty that I had not pursued higher education. When I told my wife about this, she asked me to do something for the students of my school in Kuruvimalai, it wasn’t too late to do that. Distributing books to them seemed like a good place to start, so I began by distributing the books and other material there and then extended this to other rural schools too.”He mostly hands out copies of Thirukural, English dictionaries and Atlases. “While Thirukural will instil virtue in young minds, the dictionary will help them learn English. There are not many maps in government schools in villages. So I thought of providing them Atlases,” he explains.

He also used to supply the books to Chennai Corporation schools in Koyambedu, Virugambakkam and Arumbakkam, but he stopped as the schools were well-equipped. “As some of the schools are far away, I stick to the schools in the villages of Vellore and Tiruvannamalai — Kuruvimalai, Vannakambadi, Ramapalayam and Pelathur. I also donated over ₹1 lakh to these schools under the School Patron Fund so that they can use it for the children. I have also been donating mats, almirah, benches and other essential items needed by the schools,” says Mr. Subramanian.

It’s his regret that he was not able to visit any of the schools or hand over books, due to the lockdown.

But this does not mean he was not helping people during the pandemic. He helped eight retired persons, including those from the Railways, get their pensions and arrears. “I have been helping pensioners since 2001. I coordinate with the banks and Centralised Pension Processing Centre,” he said.


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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 4:11:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/for-this-ex-railway-employee-life-began-after-retirement/article33476599.ece

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