CHENNAI: At 6am on a Sunday morning, when the entire city was dull and gloomy recovering from the rains, 20-year-old Vinay Kumar from Kilkattalai travelled 30km on his bike to give his first semester engineering books to Manigandan, who currently lives at a relief camp in Anna University. Manigandan lost all his books in his shanty at Surya Nagar, where nearly 100 houses were swamped with water.
“This was the third wave to hit us,” said Manigandan, a mechanical engineering student at Thangavel College. “All we could think about was moving to a safer place. I placed the books inside my cupboard, but when I went back to my house, everything was gone. My exams are scheduled for January. I pleaded with many people, but all in vain, and I lost all hope,” said Manigandan, blaming his carelessness. But luckily, someone noted his plight and put it up on Facebook. The post went viral and Vinay responded.
“It was a very vague lead. Nothing was specific. But I had decided to help him out. I just couldn’t be at peace because I know how much it means,” said Vinay, a final year civil engineering student at Anna University.
On Sunday morning, he entered the shelter and asked for Manigandan, who came running with his mother. The boy was overjoyed on seeing the books. “He had brought books for all the six subjects. I couldn’t thank him enough,” said Manigandan. “I can now prepare hard and do well.”
Like Manigandan, several students, both from schools and colleges, have lost their books, certificates, and most importantly, their confidence. They look for people like Vinay to help them. “After moving in, we couldn’t think of what to do next as we lost everything. My friend lost her BCom books and is asking for help. We would be grateful if someone could help hers,” said Gokul Raj, another resident.