THOOTHUKUDI: Noted social activist Nainar Kulasekaran (97) passed away on Sunday. He was laid to rest at his native village Nattathi, after Thamirabarani water was sprayed on him.
Fondly called as ‘Thamirabarani thaatha’, thanks to his comprehensive knowledge of the river and impeccable paperwork to back the same, he was the leader of Thamirabarani Pathugappu Peravai, a foundation that has been fighting for the river protection for seven decades now.
A former journalist, he stayed in his little house at Nattathi — about 60 km from Tirunelveli and 10 km from Thamirabarani — ever ready to welcome an activist, researcher or a journalist interested in knowing about the river.
Bound books, magazines, yellow and green card board files, bright yellow gunny bags filled with RTI responses, maps, documents, newspaper clippings and more are among the things that filled his house. A read through all of them, would be the most quantitative biography one has read about the river. “I have saved them all over 70 years,” he said when Express visited him a few months ago.
Though Nainar aspired to see the prevailing drought fade away by good monsoon and water gushing into the river, he passed away without witnessing it. His name will be always remembered when people speaks about the river.
He is survived by a son and two daughters. Though born in a family of landlords, he does not own agriculture land.He started his life as an administrative staff-cum-correspondent in a vernacular daily in his early age, he switched over to a newspaper distributing agency later.
His close associate S Balan, former K Varadarajapuram panchayat president, said that initially Nainar was a communist. He was a great inspiration and mentor to activists.