Retirement, for many, would mean putting their feet up after years of stressful work. But for 71-year old N. Subramanian, it means time to serve others – especially underprivileged children.
Ever since he retired from the Railways in 2001, he has been distributing copies of the Thirukural, an atlas and a dictionary to government school students in Kilpenathur, Kuruvimalai, Vanakambadi. Till two years ago, he used to provide these study materials to some Corporation schools, but now he has stopped as the schools are well-equipped.
“I believe in the proverb — give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” says Mr. Subramanian. He spends Rs. 60,000 and more per year from his pension to purchase all the books. A room on the first floor of his house in Saligramam is set aside to store study materials.
“While the Thirukural will instil virtue in young minds, the dictionary will help them learn English which is necessary in today’s world. There are not many maps in government school in villages. So I thought of providing them atlases,” he says.
He also sponsors education of two orphaned children in Kilpenathur. “One of the girls scored 369 marks in her class X exams,” he adds.
But what prompted him to help them? “I did not have any facility while studying. I do not want the children in villages to suffer,” he explains.