TAMIL NADU

Rain god answers children's prayers

P. Sudhakar

Tirunelveli: As dry-spell continued in the district and while northern districts were just struggling to come out of floods, special prayers were offered in all places of worship in Tirunelveli to `attract' the rain god towards down south.

`Kolaattam' was held, sand cow and calf were immersed in Thamirabarani after special poojas, a village administration even decided to conduct marriage for donkeys... But nothing pacified the rain god since no part of the district recorded significant rainfall even after these prayers.

However, the Almighty visited almost all places of the district on November 12 after apparently being appeased by the wholehearted sacrifice of a group of children!

These kids of Pushpalata Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Palayamkottai, who gave up their desire for scrumptious dishes and sweets and saved that money, put-up stalls on their school premises and sold a range of yummy dishes to the visitors during the `Charity Carnival', organised as part of the Children's Day celebrations. The money they collected - Rs. 34,000 - through this 135-minute exercise, held amidst thundershowers, was donated to three organisations, caring handicapped and orphan children.

After enthralling the visitors with variety entertainment, the children led the chief guests of the function - renowned gynaecologist, Gigi Selvan, and Rev. Christudoss - to open the stalls.

Ranging from vadai and bonda to chicken biryani and pizza, whatever you wanted to tickle your taste buds was available there. While the stalls attracted tremendous `business', some girls patiently titivated the hands of young visitors with `mehendi' for a nominal charge.

The children had aesthetically and grippingly prepared posters and kept them at vantage points to entice and guide the guests to their stalls.

Encouragement to children

Despite the dampness, the people, who had gathered on the school premises for a noble cause, bought as much as they could, as they really wanted to encourage the children, who sold the eatables to their guests with a sense of contentment.

"When our children organised similar charity carnival last year, they collected Rs. 16,000 and we donated Rs. 8,000 each to St. Anne's Handicapped Home and Muslim Orphanage Committee. If you can inculcate such decorous qualities in the tender hearts of the children, they will certainly share what ever they have to care the abandoned and the deprived. It is the real way of worshiping the Almighty, we believe," says Pushpalata Pooranan, the correspondent of the school.

True, there is no rain in the district after this `Charity Carnival'.