Tamil Nadu

Pushed into selling tea, Madurai youth turns a good samaritan to Chennai woman

Tamilarasan has been feeding abandoned elderly persons with what he earns from selling tea.   | Photo Credit: R. Ashok

A fortnight ago, Chennai-based volunteer N. Venkatesan, working for Udhavum Kailgal, a group formed to support the underprivileged affected by the COVID-19 lockdown, received a call for help from a single mother in Sholinganallur. The woman, who was working as a domestic help, had lost her job during the lockdown. She requested him for a sewing machine so that she could stitch clothes and earn a living to feed her two children.

When Mr. Venkatesan passed on the message on WhatsApp, seeking sponsors, a person from Madurai came forward and donated the machine, worth around ₹18,000. The sponsor also arranged a month’s groceries for the family. When Mr. Venkatesan connected with the sponsor through video call to convey the woman’s gratitude, he was taken aback.

“I expected the sponsor to be a businessman aged around 40. But it was A. Tamilarasan, a 23-year-old B.Sc. Computer Science graduate. He sells tea. He proved that money or age is no deterrent when it comes to helping others,” said Mr. Venkatesan.

Stories of this ilk, however, are not new for Mr. Tamilarasan, who has been feeding abandoned elderly persons during the lockdown, using his earnings from selling tea.

Mr. Tamilarasan, whose parents died when he was a-year-and-half old, grew up in an orphanage in Aruppukottai. After graduation, he moved to Chennai in search of a job, but only in vain.

“Marina beach became my home in Chennai, as I had no money or place to stay. One day, my belongings were stolen and I started seeking alms to survive. I would sometimes go rag-picking,” he said. Two years later, in 2019, he decided to come to Madurai.

He continued to seek alms at the Madurai railway junction and at bus stands. But he suffered when the lockdown was put in place. “It was then that I decided to start selling tea in and around Alanganallur. I was able to earn a decent profit as the demand for tea was good due to the closure of shops,” he said.

Mr. Tamilarasan also supplied tea and food to abandoned persons on streets. “The sight of them reminded me of my earlier condition. So I fed around 40 people a day with the money I earned,” he said. After he gained attention on social media and other platforms, help started pouring in. He plans to open a tea shop with the money he received.

“I gave a part of the money for the sewing machine. My ultimate aim is to feed the homeless, because I do understand the meaning of hunger,” he added.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 6:04:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/pushed-into-selling-tea-youth-turns-a-good-samaritan/article32424774.ece

Next Story