KARUR: While helping one person might not change the world, it does change the world for that particular person. Proving the adage right, a school teacher has adopted an elderly woman who was abandoned by her sons and lost her house in Cyclone Gaja.
Seventy-five-year-old Bakkiyam lived all by herself in a hut at Marudhavanam in Muthupettai Union in Tiruvarur. She was left to fend for herself after her five sons abandoned her. Struggling for survival, Bakkiyam got by with the help from neighbours and good Samaritans in the village. She ate whatever was provided to her, as she could not cook due to her age and health issues.
When the cyclone hit Tiruvarur, Bakkaiyam managed to survive the storm. But the hut was devastated and she had no place to live. She became depressed and other villagers did their best to console her and provided her shelter until her hut could be repaired.
Boopathy, a government school teacher of Poiyamani Panchayat Union Middle School in Kulithalai, is well-known in the region for his efforts in ensuring students get a proper education. The ‘Dream Teacher’ award winner has once again won the hearts of people by helping the old woman and ‘adopting’ her.
Boopathy was more than willing to help cyclone victims and asked his Facebook friend Amutha, also a government school teacher in Muthupettai, to find a person in desperate need of assistance and who he could help. After Amutha provided details of Bakkiyam’s life story to Boopathy, he felt sorry for the woman’s situation and decided to help her.
Speaking to Express, Boopathy said, “The cyclone turned many lives upside down. Personally, I wanted to help them. But as I am not in a position to help many people, I decided to help one person with all I have. So, I asked my friend Amutha in Tiruvarur district to help me in identifying any elderly person who was badly affected by Gaja and needing assistance. She then told me about Bakkiyam and my heart immediately went out to her. I, along with my wife Brindha, also a government school teacher, went to Tiruvarur to meet the woman and help her. We gave her sarees, groceries and cooking utensils. We also promised to rebuild her house by providing her with the necessary funds.”
He added, “She was full of tears. She took my hand and said that despite her five sons abandoning her, an unknown person has made her happy. I told her I am going to look after and take care of her until her last breath. My wife and I plan to send money to her every month for her survival. It is doing acts like these that make me feel fulfilled with life.”