SALEM: Amid the crowd of petitioners during the weekly grievance meeting at the Collectorate stood a visually-challenged man accompanied by his family members. He had not come seeking any favour, but to thank the Collector for making his dream of owning a house come true. Murugesan (50), a resident of Nayakenpatti, about 45 km from here, said, “I had petitioned the Collector seeking electricity connection and a toilet for my house, but he gave me a new house.” “Electricity became a necessity after my children began attending school. Moreover, I was hard pressed to find funds for constructing a toilet. Most of the houses in the area had toilet facility,” said Murugesan, who had to run from pillar to post for funds for these basic amenities.
He knocked on many doors, met several people and even visited a few local politicians. However, his efforts proved futile until he petitioned the District Collector. “The Collector called me to meet him. I told him that my wife Laxmi and I were the bread winners of the family. I told him that I needed electricity connection for my children, who are in Classes V and VIII. As my house was partly thatched, we face hardships during rains. Moreover, privacy became an issue as we did not have a toilet in our house and my daughter was growing up. The Collector gave me a patient hearing and assured to take action,” Murugesan said. Later, the Collector ordered officials to look into the possibility of providing Murugesan a house under the free house scheme.
“I could hardly believe it when I heard. But soon, officials visited my house and after making an assessment, they released funds for the construction. Now that the construction is completed, I have come to thank the Collector and invite him for the house-warming function scheduled for Friday,” Murugesan said. The cost of the house is `1,20,000 and comes with a toilet.