About 20 families of Irular tribes in Pulikundram, a village situated 60 km away from Chennai, are going to get electricity connection for the first time in their life, thanks to an NGO and set of local government officials, who took steps to get documents for them through which electricity supply can be obtained.
Irulars are one of the most backward tribal communities in the state. Though they are found centered in and around The Nilgiris district a group of Irulars moved to Kothimangalam village near Tirukalukundarm in Chengalpattu district. However, a section of them moved to Pulikundram and had settled in two different hamlets, one in government puromboke land and one in forest land. The 20 families residing in government land are the first set of Irulars to get electricity supply soon.
Murugesan said that through their NGO they have obtained Aadhaar card, Voter ID card, ration card and bank accounts with zero balance for Irulars. “Now, with the help of local officials attached to Registration and Revenue Departments we are trying to get patta for them,” he said. Among the 20 families, a section of them were rescued bonded labourers. Murugesan and his team with the help of government officials rescued 16 Irulars from a rice mill in Redhills and settled them in Pulikundram village. Murugesan along with social activists also appointed a teacher to teach the Irular children.
G Vasanthi from Irular community in Pulikundram said, “After we were rescued I started working as a maid and my husband (Gopi) is working as a daily wager. We are leading an independent life and had married all our three children.” Government officials said that patta will be issued soon to Irulars. “We went directly to their place and inspected the land. We have taken all steps to issue patta and once they receive it they will get electricity connection,” said Chengalpattu Sub Registrar EP Kailash Nath.