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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1590

Karunanidhi Donates his House to Establish Free Hospital for Poor

Sathyalaya Ramakrishnan reporting from Chennai
Chennai, 03 June, (

Dravidian leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has donated his Gopalapuram residence, in which he was living with his family for the past 50 years, to establish a free hospital for poor people.

As announced last year, when he launched the Kalaignar free Medical Insurance scheme for the poor, on behalf of the state government, the Chief Minister executed the gift deed and handed over the property to a trust, named as "Annai Anjugam Arakattalai" (Anjugam is his mother) on the eve of his 87th birthday which falls today (June 3).

In a brief event at his residence, Mr Karunanidhi, signed the stamp papers, registering the property in the name of ''Annai Anjugam Trust'', for the setting up of ''Kalaignar Karunanidhi Hospital'' after the lifetime of him and his wife Dayalu Ammal.

''It gives me immense satisfaction,'' the Chief Minister said when asked how he felt, when he donated his house as per his wish and announcement.
''Had I been a "Believer in God", I will say it gives me "Soul Satisfaction". Since I am a "Non-Believer", I will say it gives me immense satisfaction,'' he said.

Mr Karunanidhi had bought the house in 1955 from one Sarabeswara Iyer, out of his earnings from script writings for films and later, in 1968 registered the property in the names of his sons M K Azhagiri, M K Stalin and M K Tamizharasu.

However, after he announced his decision to covert the house into a hospital, the three sons, had returned the property to him last year to enable him to fulfill his wishes.

Asked how his sons reacted when he wished to donate the house for hospital, Mr Karunanidhi said his sons would never act against his wishes. On this issue too, they acted in the same manner. Answering a question, he said a number of leaders had visited his house and it would not be proper to mention about the visit of only a few leaders.

''I always cherish and remember today's event handing over of the property to the trust,'' Mr Karunanidhi said when asked about an incident that had taken place in the house which he would always cherish.

Mr Karunanidhi said the 'Annai Anjugam Trust' would establish the hospital and decide how it should be run.

The Trust would have C K Ranganathan, film producer and Kalaignar TV CEO Rama Narayanan, lyricst Vairamuthu, Union Ministers A Raja and S Jagathratchagan, a party statement said.

The elegant house in located at the heart of the city, just off the arterial Anna Salai at one end and Cathedral Road at the other.

The house was the venue for many ups and downs in his own life and the history of the DMK.

The house, facing Venugopalaswamy (Lord Krishna) Temple, had been a lucky house for the Dravidian patriarch, who had always refused to move out, to an official residence offered by the government whenever he became Chief Minister.

Karunanidhi’s decision to give away his property to charity comes in the wake of similar gestures in the past by other Dravidian leaders. Rationalist leader Periyar E V Ramasamy had bequeathed his houses and properties in Erode and Chennai to a trust, to propagate his ideals.

Late Chief Minister M G R left a portion of his house at Ramavaram to run a school and home for Deaf and Dumb.

''I may be the only Chief Minister in India not owning a bungalow but living in a street house. In the past when I was the CM, I did not approve of the idea of shifting to a big government bungalow,’’ Karunanidhi said at the time of announcing his decision to donate the house last year.

- Asian Tribune -

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