COIMBATORE: Until the age of 60, he had been running a business. Now, for the last one-and-a-half years, 63-year-old M Balachandar from Thoothukudi is providing lunch on a daily basis to around 250 tribal who are not able to go for work due to illness or old age.
He visits the tribal hamlets in Panappalli, Kondanur, Jambukandi, Kuttupuli and Thekkalur in Anaikatti Hill in the district. Balachandar who was into the jewellery business said that he was deeply inspired by Pattinathar, a saint who was born in a wealthy family in Kaveripoompattinam. "He had given up all his waelth and had become a saint in the 14th century. He was also giving meal to the tribals on a daily basis," Ramachander said.
Every day Ramachander, along with his friend - Murugan of Anikatti, gives 250 packets variety meals to tribal at the hamlets between 11 am to 12 pm. Apart from that, every third Sunday in a month, he visits Palamalai tribe area and offers 5 kg of rice and 1 kg of dal to 250 tribal family.
"I am a man from merchant family from Thoothukudi. I have earned enough money. Earlier when I was running business, I had the thought of providing food to poor people every day. As all my commitments to my family were fulfilled in my 60 years of life, I quit the business and made myself free from commitments," Balachandar told TNIE.
Balachandar has a wife, a son and two daughters. Son works as the Doctor in General Medicine at a private super specialty hospital in Coimbatore. Two daughters have settled in abroad. He said that his wife, who was born in Coimbatore, wanted to live his last phase of life in the locality.
"In order to serve the food to needy people in the tribal hamlets, we made door-to-door visit to tribal areas. After taking the details, we started serving food to them by visiting their hamlet," he said and added that a woman who lives in Thadagam is preparing the food.
Every day, he spends around Rs 6,000 for preparing the food to 250 persons.