Thursday, August 17, 2006

Freedom fighter's `precious' gift for Collector

Freedom fighter's `precious' gift for Collector
A. V. Raghunathan

CUDDALORE: It was a day of surprise for Collector Gagandeep Singh Bedi.

He was honouring freedom fighters with shawls at Anna Stadium here on Tuesday as part of Independence Day celebrations. And now it was his turn to be honoured with a shawl.

Taking him by surprise was a middle-aged anganwadi worker, Vijayalakshmi, daughter of deceased freedom fighter Pandurangan (84) of Alpettai near Manjakuppam, who presented the special gift to him. She had brought the shawl in deference to a wish expressed by her father.

Pandurangan was one of the two freedom fighters from Cuddalore, who attended a tea party hosted by President Abdul Kalam in New Delhi recently to commemorate the "Quit India" movement.

In recognition of his services to the nation, Mr. Kalam had given a shawl to Pandurangan.

While he was on his deathbed, Pandurangan asked his daughter to hand over the shawl to Mr. Bedi as a token of appreciation of the Collector's commendable service to the district. Pandurangan died a few months ago.

On learning about it, Mr. Bedi was visibly touched.

Later, he told The Hindu that Mr. Pandurangan had helped the administration in identifying freedom fighters in the district. He had recommended Pandurangan along with another freedom fighter for the Delhi visit.

Mr. Bedi said the shawl was a precious gift, as it had come with the blessings of a freedom fighter on the Independence Day. He would preserve it for his lifetime.

Welcome departure

In a welcome departure from the earlier occasions, the freedom fighters were accommodated in a shamiana. The Collector had bought shawls from his discretionary funds, instead of relying on the usual sponsorship. Mr. Bedi had also arranged a breakfast for hundreds of students before cultural events started.

Copyright © 2006, The Hindu.

1 comment:

Siva Nara said...

I heard a lot of good things about the collector.

Good to know that he was honored by a freedom fighter.