Suburban social activist conducts last rites for animals & birds

Chennai: A cow lies lifeless on the road, with blood spilled all over it. While the general public does not pay much attention to it, the sight stays with Meenakshi Sundaram.

A resident of Manikkam Nagar, he has been doing the final rites of such animals and birds since 1992.

Speaking to ‘News Today’, he says,”All animals and birds are like my family. I admit them in the hospital if they are sick or bury them if I see them dead.”

Talking of how it all began, he recalls,”It all started when the cyclone hit Mannargudi in 1972. I was 20 years then. My father, who worked as a head master in a government school was involved in the work of evacuating people to a safe place. On seeing him toil for the society, I too chipped in and there has not been a roadblock ever since.”

A retired employee from the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC), he moved to Chrompet early in the 1980s.

“When I came to Bharathipuram in Nemilichery, I found that dirty sewer drains affected the residents. I, along with few other people got together and cleaned the channels,” he says.In his activism journey, Meenakshi has even received death threats several times.

“In 1997, a few of us had organised a meeting condemning the Municipal Councillors to be straightforward while the local body election was round the corner. When I was returning home on a cycle, two men on a two-wheeler warned me to get home safe,” he explains.

“Later, during the time of Vardah cyclone, hooligans had again gathered outside my residence. The entire place was submerged because of the unnecessary delay caused by the Municipality in desilting the Nemilichery lake. Deeply hit by the deluge, I advised them to go off without harming me as the local police were aware of the threats I receive,” he adds.

Meenakshi says that no matter how much they try to scare him, his resolve to bring change won’t be deterred. “I won’t rest until then,” he concludes.

He can be reached at 9380520878.


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