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‘Beyond my imagination’, says coconut vendor Thaiammal praised by PM Modi

The Prime Minister, in his radio address to the nation on Sunday, applauded the 43-year-old Tamil Nadu native's gesture of donating Rs 1 lakh from her savings to a local school.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai |
January 31, 2022 4:01:03 pm
Tirupur district administration felicitated Thaiammal after she donated Rs 1 lakh in early January.

M Thaiammal (43) a tender coconut vendor from Udumalaipettai praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his monthly radio address to the nation on Sunday, said she did not even imagine that her small gesture for a local school would attract national attention.

Talking to The Indian Express, Thaiammal, who donated Rs 1 lakh from her savings to build a new building for the panchayat union middle school in her village, said whatever happened since her donation was something beyond her imagination and dreams. “What is this? I never thought this would make such big news. There are so many schools, this particular school is known to me; not only my husband, but my both children studied there. So I decided to donate my savings as I found it the best thing to do with my money,” she said.

The Rs 1 lakh she donated was collected over about four years, keeping a little away from her daily income and expenses. Her 55-year-old husband, 19-year-old daughter and 21-year-old son were all amused at the response to her gesture.

The Prime Minister, in his radio address, said one needs “a very big heart” to do what she did.

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Hearing about the school management’s need to erect a new building, Thaiammal had visited the school and presented the cheque on January 8. Soon the news spread, and District Collector S Vineeth felicitated her for her contribution to the school, which was established in 1925. With about 650 students, the school had started raising funds to build 12 new classrooms.

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