Wednesday, December 30, 2009



A remote hamlet in Nagapattinam district, Tamilnadu, Bharat, has made a giant leap into the pages of the record books. The people of Nagapattinam district, led by Nagapattinam district administration, planted 80,244 tree saplings at Naaluvedhapathi village in Vedaranyam taluk in the district, all in a matter of 24 hours on December 3,2002. The event was an attempt at ensuring a place in the pages of the Guinness World Records.They are already on their way to realise their dream. Of course, on their way, the villagers will have a lot more shade in hot sun.

(Based on newspaper reports the next day. Idea: Shri. Arun Venkat Ramamurthy).


During World War II, in early 1940s, Japanese forces bombarded Burma(Myanmar). Among several sections of the population which fled in haste was the Nagarathar community originally hailing from Chettinadu in Tamilnadu, Bharat. The main occupation of many belonging to Nagarathar community was pawnbroking (moneylending against mortgaged jewels). While fleeing for life, Nagarathar men carried along ornaments mortgaged with them by the Burmese. They trekked nearly 1,000 miles. Once in their native Chettinadu, these pawnbrokers appointed Gorkhas as security persons and protected the jewels during riots and robberies rampant in Chettinadu in 1942. Later, with permission from the Reserve Bank of India, they carried the jewels back to Rangoon and other places in Burma and meticulously returned every piece of jewellery to its owner to the utter surprise of the latter. For all this, it must be pointed out, on mere trust most moneylending transactions had been going on! It is a rock edict commandment in Velangudi, a village deep inside Chettinadu (now in Sivaganga district) that has instilled the inspiring trait of honesty in those Nagarathar moneylenders.

(Based on a reference in ‘CHETTINADUM SENTAMILUM’, a book by Somale published in 1984 by Vanathi Pathippakam, Chennai-600 017; Page 601).


While the microbiology department of the University of Kuopio in Finland is doing an impact assessment of cow urine on allergies induced by animal allergens, Shri. Virendra Jain of Indore, Madhya Pradesh, Bharat, buys 50 litres of cow urine from dairies, filters it by distillation and distributes it to the persons with various ailments from ‘stomach trouble’ to cancer who queue up in front of his house every morning. Three years back, Shri. Jain says, he had treated his mother’s cancer after ‘doctors’ gave up all hope. She survived and got rid of the cancer completely.

(Based on an OFFTRACK item carried by INDIA TODAY, May 21, 2001).


It is daybreak. Sixty-year-old Shri.R.Muthuswami walks up to a house, invites the family living there to the village temple and walks back to the temple. When the family comes to the temple, he feeds them after they worship. He walks to nearby villages too to invite one family a day to the temple. This is part of Muthuswamy’s daily routine. Other aspects of his routine include helping about 100 village children of elementary classes in their lessons from 4 to 6 in the evenings, in the temple premises. He stays in the temple itself; only occasionally goes to his house nearby. Why Muthuswami has chosen this temple – centric life? Because it is he who built the temple in that village. His native village: It is Murungapatti in Salem district of Tamilnadu, Bharat. It took him Rs. 21 lakhs to construct the temple. The amount comprises donations from the villagers to the tune of Rs.15 lakhs and – this is important – Muthuswami’s retirement benefits (he served as an elementary school teacher from 1961 to 2001). Here, a little simple but inspiring arithmetic: On his retirement, Muthuswami had received Rs.7 lakhs. Of this, he gifted Rs.50,000 each to his two sons and the remaining Rs.6 lakhs to the son of Lord Shiva, that is Karthikeya, the presiding deity in the Murungapatti temple ! Add to this Rs.4,000 per month that he offers to the temple. This one is his pension amount !!

(Based on a DINAMANI report).


Raghavaiah, the roadside cobbler. As any repairer of chappals and polisher of shoes is described. One fine morning, he started setting up shop – spreading his tools. On the platform near the Railway colony bus stop in Ayanavaram in north Chennai. Just then his eyes fell on a bag lying on the road. Raghavaiah picked it up. He found it contained Rs. 12,000 in cash and some documents and handed it over to the neighbourhood welfare association. Things moved fast after that. The owner of the bag was identified and was informed. He was called to Ayanavaram to take possession of his bag. One Palani was the owner. He intended the cash to be remitted as his daughter’s school admission fees. On recovering his bag in tact, Palani was greatly relieved. In gratitude, he offered a sum to Raghavaiah. Politely refusing to accept it, Raghavaiah started walking towards his roadside shop.To stitch torn chappals all day for a few rupees each.

(DINAMALAR,Tamil Daily, reported this event on 19-6-2002 and ANANDAVIKATAN, Tamil Weekly, featured it beautifully in its issue dated 7-7-2002. ‘CHENNAI MEDIA CENTRE NEWS’, a Tamil fortnightly, patted both these publications for having brought to light this great act of goodness of Raghavaiah).