VILLUPURAM: After the officials turned a deaf ear to the repeated pleas of the Kongragundan villagers for filling up the sand pits on the Malataru river, a 40-year-old differently-abled man rose up to the occasion by shelling money out of his pocket to erase the remnants of illegal sand mining in the region.
When water became scarce, V Thanigavel (40), a differently-abled farmer from Thalavanur, ran from pillar to post to draw the attention of officials. Though his attempts turned futile, he learnt a valuable lesson. The owner of a 20-acre farm said, “Being a farmer myself, I understood the pain of my fellow villagers. From my own experiences, I realised how difficult it was for them to draw the attention of the officials. With the entire village suffering from water shortage, I decided to chip in, and help as many as I could.”
The villages around Kongragundan, situated on the banks of Malataru river, were among those inundated in the recent deluge. However, once the flood waters receded, there was no supply to the channels. Blaming the mammoth pits on the river banks for the shortage of both drinking and irrigation water, the villagers petitioned the officials several times, but to no avail.
When the officials failed to turn up to survey the area, Tahnigavel decided to take spend by himself.
He says he has so far spent around `3.5 lakh to fill up numerous pits along the bank. “I hired an earthmover at my own expense to level the pits till around two km from the bank. I had tried to rope in a few villagers though, but most of them had nothing to spare,” Thanigavel said.