जब वृद्धा के साथ पत्ते पर खाया खाना

Well wisher of a common man: A District Collector shares his meal with a poor lady

Steeped in penury, R. Rengammal (80) of Chinnamanaickenpatti who has been scraping through a living in a small hut with her 82-year-old husband Raman found solace at long last in the form of an unexpected guest.

Never did she, or for that matter other residents in her village, ever imagine that the District Collector would come calling and have lunch with her.

Collector T. Anbazhagan who was in the village recently to take part in the mass contact program at nearby Mookankurichi chose to share his lunch with Rengammal after getting to know of her plight. Parents of two daughters who are settled elsewhere, the couple in the late evening of their lives have been surviving on the free rice scheme of the State Government

Introducing himself to Rengammal, the Collector enquired about her family background and livelihood. When asked what she had prepared for lunch, she replied that she was yet to cook for the day.

Mr. Anbazhagan, who usually carries along home-cooked food when he goes on such visits, lost no time in putting Rengammal at ease and sharing the food he had brought along.

After finding out that the aged woman was yet to receive Old Age Pension (OAP), he summoned the revenue officials and ensured that the application formalities were fulfilled then and there. He made sure that the woman receives OAP with effect from the current month itself.

“Instead of having lunch in the company of officials, I thought of eating with a poor family, after learning from villagers about the predicament the old couple. The gesture only signifies that we are for the people,” Mr. Anbazhagan told The Hindu.

If rules permit, her husband Raman too would be given an old age pension.

Further, he instructed the revenue officials to clear all pending applications on old age pension within a month.

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