A champion of the poor

Melanmai Ponnuchamy

Melanmai Ponnuchamy  

B. Kolappan

CHENNAI: Melanmai Ponnuchamy, winner of the 2008 Sahitya Akademi award for Tamil literature, who has poignantly and powerfully portrayed the lives of the marginalised people in the semi-arid regions (‘Karisal Bhoomi’) in southern Tamil Nadu.

The award is for his short story collection, Minsara poo.

“I never expected the award. I am surprised. I see the award as recognition for my writings which portray the poor who have been victimised by society and the State,” the 58-year-old writer told The Hindu.

Born at Melanmarainadu in Virudhunagar district, this farmer-cum-provisions shop owner has produced 24 volumes of short stories, 6 novels, 6 short novels and a collection of essays. He did not attend school beyond Std. V.

A member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) for many years, Mr. Ponnuchamy is one of the founder- members of the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers Association. The award has come two days after the state conference of the association held in Chennai.

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