LIFE

Experiencing misery untold

No trace of sadness on his face, only anxiety and despair

R. Krishnamoorthy

WILL HE BE HEARD THIS TIME AROUND?: M. Maria Soosai, who has been making innumerable number of trips in vain to the Collectorate to have his grievance redressed. — Photo: R.M Rajarathinam.

WILL HE BE HEARD THIS TIME AROUND?: M. Maria Soosai, who has been making innumerable number of trips in vain to the Collectorate to have his grievance redressed. — Photo: R.M Rajarathinam.  

TIRUCHI: His presence, in fact his appearance, evoked sympathy from one and all on the premises of the district collectorate, which was teeming with members of the public seeking to get their grievances redressed by the district authorities on Monday.

But, there was not a trace of self pity on his face. Dragging himself to the Collector's chamber holding a petition in his hands, the face of M. Maria Soosai (45) of Ganapathy Nagar, Ariyamangalam, was rather filled with anxiety and despair. This has been his state of mind on the many occasions he had approached the district administration in vain for help over the past couple of decades.

Orthopaedically deformed since birth, Maria Soosai had come there on Monday too hoping against hope to present his plight to the Collector, knowing only too well that the umpteen petitions he had presented to the district authorities had so far been relegated to the dustbin. Still, he was not about to give up, as it was a question of survival.

For, the plight of his two sisters, Sahayamari and Arokyamari, was even worse than his. Not only did they have an incurable deformity akin to his, but they were also immobile. The frugal food they had at home were put in front of them through the sweat and toil of their aged mother, Antoniammal, who did chores in a few households in their locality. Maria Soosai was a child when his father, Mariakulandai, died. After his death no friend, relative or well wisher lent a sympathetic ear to the family members.

Accentuating Maria Soosai's plight was his qualification. He could not study beyond Standard II. His request to the officials is for financial assistance to start either a PCO/STD booth or a petty shop. He sounds bitter when he talks about an official who reprimanded him recently over the narration of his story a few months ago to a journalist of a Tamil daily, which published a news item on his plight. In fact, he says he had not approached the journalist on his volition.

"It is a problem for me both ways. While my petitions go unnoticed all the time, I have to face the music of the officials too if my plight is publicised," Maria Soosai lamented, as he trudged on in the direction of the Collector's chamber.

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