(G.N.S) Dt. 02
The property near Palakkad, which houses an anganwadi, will get a major facelift, The childhood home of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and matinee idol M.G. Ramachandran will be renovated and converted into a memorial, thanks to the intervention of the former Mayor of Chennai, Saidai S. Duraisamy.
MGR’s ancestral home, located on 30 cents of land in Vadavannur near Palakkad, has been in a state of disrepair for long. The property houses an Anganwadi centre under the Kerala Social Welfare Department. After the gram panchayat responded favourably to Mr. Duraisamy’s initiative, the repair work on the small tiled house started on Saturday.
The termite-ridden, old wooden ceiling will be replaced with a new one; the walls will be plastered; the roof tiles reassembled; and a new concrete building will come up to accommodate the Anganwadi. The renovation plans also include a new compound wall, and desilting of a well dug long before in memory of MGR’s mother, Sathyabhama. The property will also get a statue of MGR, along with an ‘interpretation centre’ that will contain a display of books and photographs. A ‘mini-theatre’ inside the house will screen documentaries on MGR and films in which he starred.
According to P.A. Rajeev, the gram panchayat vice-president who is coordinating the renovation work, the first phase of the work would be completed in one month at a cost of ₹10 lakh, donated by Mr. Duraisamy. The Anganwadi building, the statue, and the interpretation centre would be ready in the second stage. On its part, the gram panchayat has already renamed its community hall as the MGR Memorial Community Hall.
“MGR’s father Maruthur Gopala Menon was a native of the nearby Nalleppilly village. Though he was born in Sri Lanka, he and his family moved to Vadavannur after his father retired as the Magistrate of Kandy,” Mr. Rajeev said.
(G.N.S) Dt. 02