Blast from past for Health Secretary

He catches up with people of Natham village

It was a detour, but for Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan, it was a blast from the past. On a tour of the delta districts to oversee pandemic control activities, he took some time off his schedule to catch up with people from his past.

He made a quick stop at Natham village near Kumbakonam. The people of Natham were once close to him, he said, because 13 of the 94 children who died in the horrific Kumbakonam school fire in 2004 hailed from this village.

Dr. Radhakrishnan was then the Collector of Thanjavur district, and oversaw relief and rehabilitation efforts for the families of the children who died in the fire accident. “I had a touching meeting with some of the parents of the children, including the mother of Muruganandam, who perished in the fire. My family — my wife Krithika and son Arvind — used to accompany me on my visits to the homes of the children. In one instance, Muruganandam’s grandmother mistook my son for her grandson, and Arvind managed to persuade her to drink something as she had not eaten for days after the tragedy,” he said.

He further shared his joy at finding out that they still remembered his visits and fondly enquired about his family. “Grandmothers came up to me to tell me what happened to their families during all these years, and kindly asked after my wife and son, whom they remembered as well.”

He urged the health team to organise a vaccination camp in the area.

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