Tribal residents of Nekkanamalai in Jawadhu Hills will receive their Pongal gifts for this year at their doorstep, rather than from Girisamudram, the main village, located at the foothills near Vaniyambadi.
Nekkanamalai, hamlet of Girisamudram revenue village, is seven kilometres from the Vaniyambadi bus stand. Till last year, nearly 200 card holders in the tribal hamlet would come down to the main village to receive their gifts and painstakingly carry them back on the rugged path.
It may be recalled that Nekkanamalai was in the news earlier, when a pregnant woman had to be carried by dholi (cloth cradle slung between two poles) to a medical facility, during labour pain, as there was no proper path on the hills.
Initiating the process of handing Pongal gifts to tribals, the officials concerned rented 14 donkeys from a person at Alangayam near Vaniyambadi, to carry the loads to Nekkanamalai.
Sources revealed that the donkeys were hired for Rs 200 and would carry bags containing rice, almonds, cashew, sugar cane and sugar while the officials would hand over the Rs 1000 per card cash component to the tribals at their doorstep.
The bags to be carried were loaded onto the donkeys on Wednesday morning from Vaniyambadi and the process was undertaken by Tahsildar Sivaprakasam; TSO (Taluk Supply Officer) Kumar and Girisamudram Co-operative Society president Tirupathi.
“The donkeys are expected to reach their destination after a four-hour trek and will return to the plains in the evening,” said an official.