80-year-old retired headmistress Ponmanidevi, a resident of Nallagoundampalayam village in the Erode district of Tamil Nadu, donated an acre of land costing over Rs 4 crore to construct government school buildings.
Don’t be amazed, because it isn’t the first time the octogenarian has gone out of her way to be a part of a selfless cause. This is in fact the third time in 20 years that the senior citizen has come forward to help educational institutions.
Ponmanidevi first began her career as a government school teacher in 1964. After a journey of over three decades, the educationist retired from her post as the headmistress of a government high school in Modachur, Gobichettipalayam taluk in 1996.
Just a year into her retirement, her husband died of an illness which shook her to the core. So she decided to leave her home and moved into the home of her son, Mayura Karthikeyan. But life continued to be harsh to the widow.
In 2001, her son, Karthikeyan, a doctor by profession died in an unfortunate incident after getting electrocuted during some ongoing construction work in his home.
Her world came crumbling down. “After all this happened, I was left alone,” Ponmanidevi told the Times of India.
During the difficult time, her sister Marathal and her sons stepped forward to take care of Ponmanidevi.
It wasn’t until 2006, that she ventured into charity. She first donated 25 cents of land to the backward classes welfare department to help construct a hostel for boys and girls.
The second time, in 2015, she donated over 2 lakh to the government, to upgrade Chithode government girls high school to a higher secondary school.
Recently she was notified of how though the higher secondary school had successfully begun Class 11 but lacked space to start Class 12.
“After coming to know about this, I decided to donate one acre of land to the school to construct additional buildings for class 12 students,” Ponmanidevi told TOI.
The education department will soon take the required steps to construct the building for Class 12 students as Ponmanidevi has already sent the land transfer documents to the district collector.
The Classes for the students in the new building will start this academic year after the completion of construction.
Describing her motivation for charity, the octogenarian says, “I want to do good as long as I live.”
The school in association with the district administration will hold a function to felicitate Ponmanidevi to thank her.
Feature image credit: Times of India