Tiruvannamalai: About 70 kilometres from Tiruvannamalai district headquarters is Sengulam village, which has frequently made headlines for all the wrong reasons as many youths from this place had been booked on charges of red sanders smuggling. However, this time two visually impaired siblings have done the village proud by being the first graduates from there. Their family, who were recently allotted a free green house by the government due to their economic hardships, now wants appropriate government jobs for the siblings so that they can earn a decent living.
S Saraswathi, 25, and S Suresh Kumar, 23, both suffering from 100% visual impairment, have recently completed their Bachelor’s degree in English Literature, the first from their village to do so. Their parents — C Shekar, 52, and S Radha, 47 — said bringing up a family of five — including two daughters and a son — was especially difficult as their farm failed to give good output. “As agriculture too failed, for a decade or so it was a great ordeal to provide for my family,” Shekar said .
Suresh said their parents feared that they would get isolated if they joined the local village school. So Suresh and Saraswathi joined Amalarakkani Residential School for Blind in 2005. From there they completed their Bachelor’s degree in English Literaure.
Saraswathi and Suresh are the first graduates from Sengulam village, which houses about 500 families. The family was recently allotted a free green house by the government based on a petition by Suresh to the Hr&CE minister Sevoor S Rajendran. The siblings expressed their gratitude for the house and also urged the government to allot them appropriate government jobs.
More than 200 men from the village are currently in jail after being caught by Andhra Pradesh Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling task force, a source said.