Gypsies in remote areas of flood affected Cuddalore district helped by U.S. Tamils – Read this compelling story!
Dallas based Metroplex Tamil Sangam, Michigan Tamil Sangam and Chicago Tamil Sangam in partnership with Tamil Nadu Foundation distributed relief materials to nearly 150 gypsie families in Ottankulam, JJ Nagar and Gandhi Nagar areas of Cuddalore district. The relief materials were 5 kg rice, 1/2 Dal, 1/2kg oil, 1/2 rava, 1/4 tamarind, chilly powder and salt to help them get back to normalcy.
During this process, the TNF Cuddalore team came across few children who have lost both parents and are now living with their grandparents or relatives. but this particular case was totally different and drew our attention to them. There were nine children of a single family. Two years back their father got drowned in the river behind their house and mother passed away few years back due to sickness. Since then they are left on their own. The eldest son in the family is about 14 or 15 years old and then a daughter and then their brothers and sisters. The elder son Vijay works in a tea stall nearby and earns about Rs. 200 to Rs. 250/- as his monthly income. He looks lost and innocent. The eldest daughter next to Vijay is Poonkodi who has taken the role of their mother. Poonkodi takes care of all her brothers and sisters and does all the household chores and cooks for them. The villagers were very appreciative of those children and specially Poonkodi who is dedicated in bringing up her siblings though she is also a child. They were all served food for three days and later given the relief materials. Out of the nine children, one child was not available during our visit as he was running temperature and was taken to hospital by his uncle.