Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin on Thursday visited Ashwini, a Narikuravar woman who had raised the issue of discrimination after her community was prevented from having Annadhanam (concept of temples offering free food for the poor) along with others at a temple in Mamallapuram, 50 km from Chennai, about two weeks ago.
Stalin visited the members of the Irular and Narikuravar communities by distributing house pattas and other welfare aid at tenements in Poonjeri village near Thirukkazhukkundram in Chengalpattu district.
“On the invitation extended by Ashwini and another woman Bhavani, Stalin visited their tenements and interacted with members in their families,” an official release said. The CM also reviewed the basic amenities in the area and assured that action would be taken to ensure drinking water, electricity and road facilities and steps would be taken to improve their livelihood.
Ashwani had expressed her wish to meet the chief minister when Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments minister P K Sekarbabu visited the village after the Narikuravar community faced the discrimination at temple.
Stalin distributed house pattas to 282 families from the Irular and Narikuravar communities. Ration cards, electoral ID cards, community certificates, assistance from banks, among others were also distributed to them. The CM also launched welfare schemes and various development works to the tune of ₹4.53 crore on Thursday.
Stalin, after presiding over the event and giving away assistance, tweeted, “What was denied to sister Ashwini is not food but respect.”
“It is the work of the Dravidian movement to protect self-respect and social justice by not missing anyone on the margins of the society,” he said.
He addded that he gave away the assistance to the marginalised people by remembering the ideals of reformist leader, Periyar E V Ramasamy, Dravidian icon C N Annadurai and late Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.
Two weeks ago, Ashwani had said that she and others of her tribe were denied food by some individuals at a temple in Mamallapuram.
Following this, minister PK Sekar Babu days ago visited the ancient Sri Sthalasayana Perumal temple, a Lord Vishnu shrine in the seashore town. The minister sat beside her in the temple hall and had food along with all sections of people.