K. Balamurugan, an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer, has adopted his native village of Siruvathur in Tamil Nadu to help the villagers get free water, a renovated school, and other basic amenities.
Balamurugan is an IFS officer from the West Bengal cadre. He completed his tenure as a the Regional Passport Officer in Chennai a few days ago.
Speaking to the Times of India, Balamurugan said he recently visited his village Siruvathur in Panruti taluk of Cuddalore district after about 30 years and felt, “I needed to do my bit for the villagers who were deprived of basic needs. I approached the Indian Farmers Cooperative who offered 1,500 tarpaulins to protect the huts of the villagers as well as 1,500 bags of rice.”
Balamurugan is also helping the 2,500 families in the village get clean drinking water, free rice bags, street lights and other basic amenities.
He is working with the local authorities to try and have a causeway constructed between Siruvathur and Panikamkuppam. Currently, the villages are isolated and their residents have to take a circuitous 15 km road around the Keedalam river.
Balamurugan says he was inspired to adopt his village when one of the villagers approached him for help, saying, “Your father migrated from the village for your education but all of us cannot do that. Children have to walk seven km on the farm road to reach the Panruti town school. After their school hours, girls have to rush to reach our village before dark as there have been instances of harassment and there are no street lights.”
The bureaucrat is also working with Neyveli Lignite Corporation to restore and renovate the government high school, which is in a state of disrepair. The project is likely to cost Rs 60 lakh.”The school classrooms and compound were frequented by anti-social elements who turned it into a den for drinking and illegal activities. I took the help of officials to stop this menace and ensure that children who had stopped schooling came back to continue their education,” he said.
Balamurugan hopes his efforts will help make Siruvathur a model village that others can emulate.
You can visit K. Balamuruganon Facebook here.